For the past two decades, opioid addiction has become a significant health concern in the United States. The following statistics provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse paints a shocking picture:
Additionally, it is estimated that 90 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses.
If you or a loved one is battling opioid addiction, it can be a battle between life and death. That is why it is of utmost importance to find immediate help. This article will discuss the signs of opioid addiction and what treatment options are most effective in addressing your opioid addiction. If you are displaying the signs of opioid addiction, now is the time to act. Call Sober Mind Recovery Center toll-free today.
Simply defined, opioids are semi-synthetic or synthetic chemicals that scientists in a laboratory create. These drugs are designed to attach to opioid receptors found in the brain and the spinal cord, stomach, and other areas. When administered, these drugs bind to the receptors and block pain messages that are sent from the brain to the spinal cord. When this occurs, people experience feelings of calm and euphoric pleasure.
Common opioid drugs that are prescribed and used by people include the following:
Often, opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine are lumped into the opioid family of drugs. While these opiates derive from the fibers and sap of the poppy plant and are not laboratory-created, they produce the same effects as opioids. Therefore, heroin and other opiates are included in the opioid family for ease of discussion.
As stated earlier in the article, opioid medication binds to opioid receptors in the brain and releases large amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical, and people will feel pleasure and not feel pain throughout their body. The significant release of dopamine can be highly reinforcing, and people be more likely to want to take more opioids to repeat their feelings and experience.
While opioids produce feelings of pleasure in the short term, there are adverse side effects. These include the following:
Another negative effect of opioids is slowed breathing which can cause a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition where the brain can be starved of oxygen. This can produce profound neurological effects over time and can lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and even death. Additionally, people who inject opioids can experience sores or lesions at injection sites and are at an increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV if dirty needles are used.
At first, the signs of opioid addiction can be hard to spot. Those who are addicted will go to great lengths to hide their use. Often, the addict is the last person to know they have an opioid addiction. The signs of opioid use can be broken down into four areas. The mood symptoms of opioid use include wide mood swings, exaggerated hyperactivity, and a lack of motivation when the effects of opioids wear off.
The physical symptoms of opioid use can include weight loss, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and itchy skin. The psychological signs of opioid abuse often include disorientation, confusion, altered perceptions of reality, and anxiety. Finally, the behavioral signs of opioid addiction include withdrawal from family and friends, slowed or slurred speech, and stealing or selling off items to buy opioids.
If you are struggling with opioid addiction, finding treatment is a top priority. When it comes to what treatment options are best for your needs, that can be a challenging endeavor. Every addict is unique, and treatment does and should not follow a “one size fits all” philosophy. The treatment facilities you look at must offer a wide range of programs and services that can effectively address your opioid addiction.
Sobermind Recovery Center is a premier treatment facility in Southern California. Our treatment staff has many years of proven experience and success in working with those suffering from opioid addiction. We offer a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment services that are evidence-based and extensively tested. Call Sobermind Recovery Center and start on the road to recovery.