Note: only partially complete, perhaps useful page, set for editing post-haste Merely the author’s sketch; a reminder for something much more substantive, in the works. (E.g. as a book, forthcoming, to solicit for publishing)
What is Maintenance?
Maintenance is a term common to the Medical field, in reference to chronic disease, whereby the patient requires some sort of “maintenance therapy” in order to maintain a functional life.
All About The Opioid (aka., Opiates)
“I've heard this term, Opioid, or an Opiate, but I'm not sure what it means. Tell me about it.” -- John Doughnuts
Opioids or Opiates are the product of the Opium Poppy, and humans have been consuming products of the Opium Poppy for hundreds of years (I recommend contemporary music fans should reference the song, Poppies, from 1998, self-titled release by the rock-band, Marcy Playground). Some commonly known Opioids go by the names Opium (i.e. the opium dens of China), Heroin (aka H., Smack, Horse, Dope), Morphine, and generally-- due to the essential similarity-- the synthetic-opioid substances (chemically engineered to eliminate the reliance upon Opium Poppies) include perhaps lesser well-known names, like Vicodin (Hydrocodone), Percocet / Percodan and Oxycontin (Oxycodone).
Normal vs Opioid Dependent
Opioid Addiction, and the symptoms which accompany the Opioid Addiction Withdrawal, are part of the Syndrome which is classified as a chronic disease. It is not a phase. The normal biology of human functioning includes the production of endorphins, a type of natural chemical present in the body which can be greatly emphasized through the Opioid substances. It is normal for human endorphins to affect the biophysical state (i.e. how do you feel today?), depending upon an individual’s environment and activity, in a cause-and-effect manner. For example, rugged sports, exercise, running, lifting weights, etc., tend to raise the endorphins, and certain injuries might also cause the level of endorphins to rise. If endorphins are not present, or at a level beneath what is normal for the individual, he or she will feel ill and weakened, typically bringing on a depressed physiology which-- depending on the individual-- may exacerbate the feeling of illness, resulting in a snow-balling-like effect leaving the the individual in a state from which he or she may have difficultly recovering naturally. Often, such an effect might impact the individual with such intensity that he or she may require brief but intensive therapy to recover. These are natural functioning characteristics of the human body, tempered by so many variables, it is beyond the scope of the purpose of this resource to describe.
The reader may be familiar with these terms, as learned in a classroom study of Biology, Psychology, or Sociology education; concepts introduced in the United States even as early as elementary school, more likely along with preparation for adolescence as in middle-school or Junior-High (depending upon the Public School Curriculum as established by a Board of Education, as does indeed vary by locale, from region to region, County to County, State to State, etc.). Most likely, Americans receive some level of education in the aforementioned topics by High-School, fascinating some young adults to pursue Higher Education toward a career in the Medical, Science, or Chemistry fields. It is unfortunate, many young adults reject authority in favor of the new-found freedom which coincides chronologically with development through adolescence
Young Americans: a Popular Culture
If I may indulge the reader, consider the Author’s account of his own adolescence, that I might conjure a better understanding through some anecdotal reflection upon the experience we call life.
By the age of 16, I was licensed to drive a vehicle, albeit such licenses-- sometimes colloquially referenced as the “Cinderella License”-- disallow young people from driving between the hours of 12:00am and 6:00am, a limitation universally revoked at age 18.
In the United States, persons are considered to be adult; a mass of opportunities are opened for Americans, as age-restrictions are waived: He or She is able to Vote, go to War, Fight and Die for His or Her Country, though-- however contrary the chronology may be toward logical progression-- it is not until the age of 21 that American citizens are allowed to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages, thus glorifying the drink as the Young Americans’ Forbidden Fruit.
A Strive Toward Excellence, Always
Considering that Young Americans are encouraged to excel beyond his or her experience in nearly every situation, it’s quite easy to empathize with the so-called under-age drinking problem, and other poor decisions from which young adults ultimately suffer. Again, these are broad issues far beyond the scope of this document.
Cause and Effect: Not Pavlov's Dog
Let me bring the reader back to the idea of cause-and-effect, as alluded in the paragraph mentioning endorphins.
Hypothetically speaking, a High-school-aged individual, ignorant of the cause-and-effect relationship between opioid induction and the subsequent tendency for the body to cease, or decrease its natural production of endorphins, suffers an unfortunate physical injury through sports or other activity, and admitted to his local Hospital Emergency room, where his body is introduced to foreign substances-- pharmaceutical medications containing a natural Opioid, as derived from the Opium Poppy (e.g. morphine, which replaced it's industry sister, heroin, in the early 1900's), or synthetic, Opioid-like substances (e.g. oxycodone, aka Oxycontin), as these substances are used within the ethical bounds of medicine for relief of extreme pain.
Coincidentally, opioids are widely used, as a product of the most lucrative national industry, Pharmaceuticals. From the chemists engineering various substances, the mass production thereof, to the Commercial Marketing and Distribution to Medical Clinicians who then administer them to the American population, the Pharmaceutical Industry is a juggernaut force of modern culture, world-wide.
Focus back to the individual; the hypothetical story of the injured athlete: he is treated in the Emergency room, then administered a steady supply of Opioid medications, as prescribed by his Primary Care Physician (aka. the Family Doctor) for a period long enough that his body, literally, forgets to take care of the production of endorphins, the natural means a body has of dealing with unusually high levels of pain. The boy has become abnormally diseased, through no fault of his own; an adverse affect of the treatment methods so prevalent in the juggernaut, Medical Industry: his body has ceased the natural production of a level of endorphins to maintain his biophysical sense of well-being.
His doctor ultimately terminates the prescription of opioid pain-killer medications. It is likely the recovering, injured athlete has grown some dependency to such drugs; according to medical research, the brain chemistry changes, resulting in the body literally needing opioids to feel normal (the individual may feel physically ill). If he his body has developed such a dependency, he is likely to experience a primal instinct toward an urgent desire for well-being.
The social pressures to recover his athleticism, performance, and status amongst peers, he finds himself engaged in irresponsible behaviours, such as searching medicine cabinets of his immediate and extended family, then his friends, or even strangers homes, looking for bottles containing the same medication he'd been administered by his own doctor. It's only natural he desires to regain his feeling of well-being, while it is not natural to behave in such a manner. It is unfortunate, due to popular culture denouncement of individuals in attendance of Opioid Maintenance Treatment programs, such as Methadone clinics, he keeps his desire for Opioids hidden from friends and family.
The Disease, and the Struggle for a Normal Life
As stated above, and as may be referenced all across the Internet: Opioid Addiction is a disease, for the physical change incurred in individuals whose bodies have interrupted the proper production of endorphins, due to extended induction of Opioid or synthetic-opioid substances.
Further Information / Resources for Recovery
Various Important Information for Opioid Addiction Maintenance Treatment Centers in the PSU Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, Penn State Altoona, Lock Haven University, Williamsport, PA region.
State College, Pennsylvania:
State College Medical
State College, PA 16803
Fax: 814 235 6989
Please submit other clinical contact data to @ajaxStardust , that this resource might be made more complete.