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Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use disorder consists of an overpowering desire to use opioids, increased opioid tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms when discontinued.

Signs of Opioid Use Disorder

Signs of opioid use disorder can show that someone has a problem with opioids. These symptoms can include:

  1. Taking more than the prescribed amount of opioids.
  2. Feeling the need to take more opioids and not being able to stop thinking about them.
  3. Having cravings, risky use of opioids or other substances or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if the opioid is discontinued.
  4. Having poor performance at work or school or unexplained absences. Isolating from friends and family.

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one’s dependence on opioids it is important to get the help and support needed.

Talking to a doctor or a loved one you trust, is the first step to finding the right treatment.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Altru recognizes the growing need for treatment options for opioid use disorder in the area and has a variety of services to offer to help meet these needs.

Suboxone/Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Suboxone is a medicine that helps people stop using opioids in a safe environment while reducing withdrawal symptoms. It is a combination of two medicines that work together. One medicine treats pain and cravings associated with withdrawal, while the other medicine ensures it is working properly. The clinic employs doctors and nurses who are experts in treating opioid use disorder with compassion and personalized treatment.

When you see a suboxone prescriber, they will discuss your individual situation and create an effective treatment plan. If you qualify, they will treat you with the suboxone medicine, or a similar appropriate medication, and perform regular checks to assist you through the process. For ongoing support, we will help set up other services to ensure you succeed at treating opioid use disorder.

The goal of the suboxone/MAT is to help you get better and stop using opioids. We want to help you live a happy and healthy life without relying on drugs.

Suboxone and similar medications can also be used for chronic pain management. For patients who have developed tolerance to chronic opioid medications or who have significant side effects from opioid medications, suboxone may be an alternative treatment to achieve adequate pain control.

For more information about suboxone/MAT in the Grand Forks area, please call 701.780.6800. For more information in the Devils Lake area, call 701.662.2158 or call 218.386.2020 in the Warroad area.

Opioid Use Disorder Support Services

Your primary care provider may do several things you are concerned you have a problem with opioids, including:

  1. Ask you questions and listen to what you have to say about your opioid use to understand your situation.
  2. Provide guidance and support by explaining to you and your family the risks and dangers of opioids and offering advice on healthier ways to manage pain or discomfort.
  3. Suggest different treatment options for your opioid use disorder. They might prescribe medications like Suboxone or refer you to the Altru Family Medicine Residency or a Suboxone prescriber in your area.
  4. Your doctor will regularly check in with you to see how you’re doing and if the treatment is working. They may want to make changes to the treatment plan if needed.
  5. Assist with any other health problems or concerns you might have, such as underlying mental health concerns that could contribute to your opioid use disorder.

Schedule an appointment


Altru’s behavioral health services and social workers can offer important support and a plan to people who have a problem with opioids. Plans may include:

  1. Talk and listen to you.
  2. Provide counseling.
  3. Teach you about opioids.
  4. Teach you skills to handle difficult situations without turning to opioids.
  5. Connect you to resources in the community that can assist you in overcoming opioid use disorder. This might include finding support groups, treatment programs, or other helpful services.
  6. Assist with family support.
  7. Help with school or work to ensure you receive the support you need. They can also help with other needs, like finding housing or accessing other healthcare services.
  8. Help you create a plan for your recovery. This plan might include steps like reducing your opioid use, finding healthy activities and setting goals for the future.

Schedule an appointment

Altru is here to support you through opioid use disorder including a team of providers, behavioral health professionals and social workers. We want to see you succeed and have a happier, healthier life without relying on opioids. It's important to be honest and open with your care team about your opioid use so that they can provide you with the best care and help you on your journey to recovery.

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