A conversation on Opioid Addiction

A conversation on Opioid Addiction


My name’s Patrick Withrow. I’m a retired
cardiologist and internal medicine doctor. I work at Baptist Health Paducah and we’re going to talk about addiction and
ramification of opioids. My experience with this is as a cardiologist and internal medicine doctor who is interested in this. I’m not a counselor,
I don’t treat patients with this, but you know I have been interested long enough
that I have put on an addiction seminar for 11 years so I’ve learned quite a bit
about it. There are certain aspects of personality which tend to pick and
choose which individuals are likely to do this. Thrill-seekers, depressed people,
impulsive people and really sensitive people. And often times you know, if their
personality is right and if they take enough of the drug often enough they’re
addicted sooner rather than later. I mean even within a week. Mother nature gave us
a reward or pleasure pathway To make sure that the human race actually propagated itself and was healthy. With opioids, with addictive substances these hijack the brain. They basically hijack the reward center and the pleasure
center if we take something like opioid a tremendous amount of dopamine is
released into the pleasure center and the reward center. So much that it’s just
such a wonderful, wonderful feeling the The first one, the first time this is used, it’s a tremendous amount of dopamine is released. And so, this sets us up for a
future of addiction. If we have a rewarding experience we will remember that, that is stamped into the memory of the reptilian brain in the
hippocampus. We will remember that. And that’s where craving occurs. So if someone uses drugs over and over again they will have a certain amount of
craving and they will desire that every now and then. And craving, the best way I
can explain it is if I took you or another individual and put you in a room with no water or no food, for 5 days, you would develop tremendous craving, you would do anything for water and food. That’s what happens if you have to have
more and more and more drug you develop the tolerance. When you take it away, tolerance goes away and that’s where drug overdose and deaths occur. Overdose deaths occur more often than do automobile accidents. But, nonetheless I
mean we’re heading down the wrong path and it’s a scary situation. It’s never totally gone. Everyday is a new day. It’s one day at a time. We have medication assisted therapy that’s about the best treatment that we
have these days that, plus Cor-12 or a 12 step program Which also, is a method to engage the cortex. An individual has to develop a program of spirituality something greater than self, some sort of means to keep them from going back to
the original drug. You know, it requires a lot of work especially with opioids. These are some of the most addictive substances known to man. They are the solution, until they become the problem.

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