Opioids are among the most powerful drugs known to the public and cause addiction which should be treated with opioids treatment programs. Some common forms include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (Kadian, Avinza), codeine, fentanyl and heroin. Opioids come in pill forms that can be taken orally or crushed up into a powder, which can be made into a liquid for intravenous use. Opioids can also come in powder form.
Opioids work to reduce the intensity of pain signals and affect the emotional centers of the brain. Their effects include sedation, euphoria, constipation, slurred speech, confusion and more. Depression of breathing is among the most dangerous results of opioid abuse, possibly leading to death in the worst-case scenario. Opioids are extremely addictive and, therefore, patients will experience difficult withdrawals and can have a high potential to use again. For this reason, opioid treatment programs are imperative to properly treat the addiction.
Prescription Opioid Abuse
Prescription opioids are used to treat acute intense pain that cannot be relieved through any other means. Unfortunately, prescription opioids are being overprescribed and misused, resulting in an opioid addiction epidemic around the world. Opioids bind to their own receptors in the brain, creating a decreased response to the body’s endogenous painkillers.
Aside from their physical side effects, opioids also cause a hedonic effect – meaning the brain’s complex reward system is affected – playing a major role in their propensity to cause addiction. One of the major contributing factors to the current state of the opioid abuse epidemic is the skyrocketing popularity of prescription painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, putting potentially dangerous drugs in the medicine cabinets of many young people.
The serious toll that opioids can have on a person’s life makes opiate addiction recovery that much more important.
Opioid Detox and Withdrawal
Due mostly to the drugs’ effects on the brain’s reward system, individuals struggling with opioid dependency will often lose interest in hobbies and interpersonal relationships. The desire to obtain addiction treatment is far from the user’s mind; nevertheless, users and their families are urged to seek treatment at opiate detox centers before the worst consequences can develop.
Long-term opioid use has great potential to develop into a tolerance. Excessive opioid use will cause a cessation in the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), leading to intense physical and psychological pain upon withdrawal. Thankfully, someone who is addicted to opioids can find help with the detox and recovery process at an opioid addiction treatment program.
Withdrawal from opioids can cause depression, gastrointestinal pain, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and vomiting. Although the withdrawal effects are not considered lethal, they are described as some of the most painful occurrences an individual can ever experience, resulting in the use of opioids just to stop the withdrawal effects.