Great Neck, NY, March 2019 – “Not a day goes by when we don’t learn more about the devastation caused by opioid addiction. Every day in the United States approximately 4,000 individuals start using opiates for non-medical purposes. We are now up to about 130 opioid overdoses per day.” says Neurologist and Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr. Russell Surasky
One of the biggest roadblocks that people face when trying to stop taking opiates is “opioid withdrawal syndrome (OWS).” This happens when someone stops taking opioids suddenly or reduces their opioid dosage causing severe and what seems like unrelenting mental distress and physical discomfort. Dr. Surasky states “making it through all those days of withdrawal without the right medicine is near impossible for most. Now, the first and only FDA approved Lucemyra is available to help reduce the symptoms of OWS. Dr. Surasky has been named an expert spokesperson for Lucemyra to educate and create awareness of its benefits.
Dr. Surasky clarifies that opioids
create tolerance very rapidly in the brain
. Tolerance is when an individual needs to take more and more of a drug to avoid having withdrawal symptoms. This is also known as being physically dependent on a drug. The symptoms of OWS can sometimes be as soon as 6 hours after last opiate use. These symptoms are usually severe and are often described as “the worst flu of your life”. Dr. Surasky states “in fact, I think that this does not fully describe the agony of opiate withdrawal symptoms. Many individuals report feeling suicidal during this withdrawal process. The symptoms include fully body aches and pains
, stomach cramps
, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heart pounding, muscle spasms, and unrelenting insomnia. Dr. Surasky states “the worst of all the symptom is unrelenting insomnia. Without the right treatment, individuals usually will be unable to fall asleep for several days”. This makes the process of stopping opiates a near-impossible task.
Dr. Surasky, a brain specialist, double board certified in neurology and addiction medicine and medical director of Bridge Back to Life, a multi-center outpatient addiction treatment program, comments that much of the attention on opioid addiction focuses on overdoses and deaths. He is pleased to be named an expert spokesperson for Lucemyra to spread the news and educate the public about new treatments which bring about real hope for recovery.
Dr. Surasky states that Lucemyra works by calming norepinephrine release (stress signals) from the locus coeruleus (brain stem).
“In my practice, we treat many patients with the once-monthly injection Vivitrol to help their brain heal from addiction. Before Lucemyra patients had to stop using opiates for more than a week and go through severe withdrawal symptoms prior to their first Vivitrol treatment. This is no longer necessary. Utilizing Lucemyra along with other neurologic-based medications we can immediately eliminate opiate withdrawal symptoms and allow patients to be treated with Vivitrol just a few days after last opiate use,” says Dr. Surasky.
Bio: Dr. Russell Surasky is triple board certified in neurology, addiction medicine, and Preventative Medicine and the founder of the Surasky Neurological Center for Addiction in Great Neck New York. He is the medical director for Bride Back to Life and a national speaker for Alkermes, the manufacturer of Vivitrol. Additionally, he educates physicians and the New York criminal justice system about addiction and these new advancements in treatment. www.drsurasky.com