Nassau doctor sentenced to prison for 5 opioid prescription deaths Long Island Business News

In some cases, opioid addiction begins with a doctor’s prescription. Opioid addiction often coexists with mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, long-term opioid use can worsen existing mental health conditions or contribute to the signs of opioid addiction development of new ones. If you’re currently taking prescription opioids and are concerned you may be developing a use disorder, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Instead, healthcare providers rely on a thorough evaluation of your medical history and behaviors surrounding opioid use.

“You get lots of side effects such as nausea and constipation. It’s really not pleasant. Doctors use an 11-point checklist to help determine if a person’s opioid use signals a deeper problem. This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Treatment is provided through a combination of various types of groups using different counseling techniques to address coping skills, trauma, grief, anger management, communication skills, and relapse prevention. Individual counseling and psychiatric care are also provided as needed.


Opioid use can cause your brain to depend on these endorphins, or even to stop producing its own endorphins. Several drugs are available that can help people discontinue opioid use by reducing cravings or blocking the pleasant feelings that opioids cause. Once the drugs are out of the person’s system, continuing treatment is recommended to avoid relapse ― resuming opioid use after quitting.

Diane Woodring, 53, from Port Washington, died on Sept. 11, 2018, of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, alprazolam, mirtazapine, and valproic acid. A doctor based in Nassau County was sentenced Monday to up to 15 years in prison for opioid prescription practices that led to five patient deaths between 2016 and 2018. “There’s not any actual power in the bill,” said Jordan Scott, an organizer with the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network who has personal experience using drugs. But, as KFF Health News has been reporting for more than a year, a lack of transparency and enforcement has made it difficult to determine if states are meeting that 85% threshold. In at least two instances, counties used settlement funds to pay back old debt or shore up their budget. Other jurisdictions have made controversial purchases, including a lasso-like tool for police officers and body scanners for jails.

How can I prevent opioid use disorder?

Creating recovery-friendly and recovery-ready workplaces is particularly important for achieving and maintaining recovery (Shaw et al., 2020; The White House, 2023). The following warning signs of teen drug use can help you understand if your friend or family member needs help from a substance use disorder treatment program. Even when used with a prescription, there is a risk for developing an addiction to opioids. Although breaking an opioid addiction can be extremely difficult, there is help available. Opioids include both natural opium from the poppy plant and synthetic versions of opium. This category of substance includes drugs such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.

  • Recognizing the telltale signs of Opiate addiction can be a challenge.
  • Your healthcare team can help you gradually and safely reduce the amount of opioids you take.
  • Several studies have found that about half of people who experience a mental health condition during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.
  • Talk to your doctor to see if you might need this medicine for emergency reasons.

Some street drugs are laced with contaminants or much more powerful opioids such as fentanyl. The number of deaths from using heroin has gone up since more heroin now contains fentanyl. The signs and symptoms of substance abuse can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. One clear sign of addiction is not being able to stop using opioids. This may look like using the medicine more frequently than your doctor prescribed, using a higher dose than prescribed, or using someone else’s prescription for yourself. Another sign of addiction is seeking the immediate rewards (the “high”) of the drug despite knowing the consequences.

Mental Health Signs Of Teenage Drug Use

Drug addiction is defined as an out-of-control feeling that you must use a medicine or drug and continue to use it even though it causes harm over and over again. Opioids are highly addictive, largely because they trigger powerful reward centers in your brain. Various treatment options are available, including visiting opioid specialists and taking drugs designed to help people with addiction.

signs of opioid addiction

Opioid addiction, or an opioid use disorder, involves the continued, compulsive misuse of opioid drugs despite the negative impact such use has on a person’s life. People who take opioids are at risk of opioid use disorder, often called opioid addiction. But it’s impossible to tell who could become dependent and misuse opioids. The misuse of opioids — legal, illegal, stolen or shared — is the reason 90 people die in the U.S. every day on average, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists. OUD can affect anyone — even if they were originally prescribed opioids by a doctor.

Another medication, naltrexone, blocks the effects of opioids so that they don’t provide any type of high or pleasurable feeling. The abuse of opioids can have long-lasting effects on someone’s health, possibly even resulting in death. It is a disorder in which someone is misusing opioids to the point where it is becoming difficult for them to be able to stop using them or decrease their use.

In certain people, their use of opioids will develop into full-blown addiction. There are some tell-tale physical and behavioral signs that a person is misusing opioids and has developed an opioid use disorder or “addiction”. “There’s not a single right answer” about how to treat people in recovery with opioids, said Dr. Wakeman, who is also the senior medical director for substance use disorder at Mass General Brigham.

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