Treating Opioid Dependence

Ginari Gibb Price is a psychiatrist who lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specializes in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry. She attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and has completed a general psychiatry residency and two fellowship programs.

Her areas of expertise include autism, developmental disorders, sleep medicine, substance dependence, depression, trauma, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia. “I am one of the few physicians in my area trained and certified to prescribe Suboxone for opiate detoxification and addiction,” she says.

Suboxone, says Ginari Gibb Price, is a highly effective treatment of opioid dependence. Opioids are medications used to treat pain, but that can be highly addictive if not used properly. Medications that are classified as opioids include morphine and hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin.

As Ginari Gibb Price knows, this class of drugs can be very dangerous when used recreationally. She says that by treating a patient who has become dependent on opioids with Suboxone, the effects of withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be reduced, thereby helping the patient begin to recover from the dependence. But it must be carefully prescribed and managed, because Suboxone itself can be addictive, and patients may feel withdrawal symptoms as they come off of it.

Opioid dependence is a complex condition, says Ginari Gibb Price, and recovery involves more than just the physical symptoms of craving and withdrawal. Counseling is an equally important part of the recovery process, and ideally goes to the root causes of the use and misuse of opioids. Even after kicking their habits, former addicts are at risk for relapse from numerous psychological and social factors. But with a personal commitment and with the kind of help she can provide, many addicts stand an excellent chance of recovery.