Opioid abuse is at an all-time high, nationwide. While these pills are prescribed by doctors to alleviate post-surgical pain and to relieve other forms of acute or chronic pain, these drugs have high abuse potential. The problems set in when the patient builds tolerance and must take more pills than prescribed to achieve the same relief, as well as that rush of euphoria it brings – the “high” many users end up craving more than relief from pain.
The unfortunate fact is opioids are not harmless and can wreak havoc on your life after your prescription bottle is empty and you have no more refills. Opiate addiction can even kill. To date, there have the number of opiate-related overdose deaths in the United States has quadrupled since 1999. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 70,000 people died in 2017 alone because of a painkiller overdose.
"Opioids," also known as narcotics, are a category of drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body. When this occurs, opioids block pain messages from being sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. Most opioids are derived from the opium poppy plant, though certain synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are completely man-made and possess a similar chemical structure. While prescription opioids have helped people manage their pain when used appropriately and under a health care provider's direction, they have also led to a widespread addiction epidemic that has lasted for several decades.
Common types of opioids include:
Although the terms "opiates" and "opioids" are often used interchangeably, they are different. Opiates refer to natural opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. Opioids, on the other hand, refer to all natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic opioids.
There is no blood test or lab work to definitively diagnose addiction, but there are distinct signs to look out for which can help you recognize that you might be suffering from opioid use disorder.
Some of the signs of opioid drug addiction include:
As mentioned before, addiction to opioids comes with a high risk of death from overdose due to the effects of opioids as a depressant on the body's respiratory functions. A high dose of opioids can cause a user to stop breathing completely, resulting in death by asphyxiation. Many first-responders now carry drugs like naloxone for use on suspected overdose calls due to the rise of opioid overdoses in recent years.
Other risks of prolonged opiate use include:
When a person becomes addicted to opioids and stops using, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will vary in intensity depending on the type of opioid and the length and severity of the addiction.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include:
When you check-in at Walden, you can expect comprehensive treatment from our credentialed drug rehab professionals. We do more than simply detox you and send you back on your way home because truly effective treatment for drug abuse involves prioritizing lifestyle changes. This is accomplished via our continuum of treatment services designed to help you maximize your recovery.
At Walden, we offer the following services for adults and adolescents:
Ready to get started getting your life back on track? Contact Walden to learn more about how we can help you kick opiate addiction for good. Dial (301) 327-2555 or contact us online for a quick reply.
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