The opioid epidemic has become a well-known national problem. It makes news headlines daily. While we had begun to make progress on this recently, tragically, the pandemic made us take a giant step backward in the wrong direction. If you or someone you love is struggling with an opioid use disorder, we encourage you to reach out today to the trusted professionals at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®. Call 855.773.0614 to learn more about how our opioid addiction treatment program can help you find a path towards a better tomorrow.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a medication prescribed to treat acute and chronic pain. While they can provide pain relief, opioids carry risks and can be highly addictive. In addition, the risk of addiction is exceptionally high when people use opioids to manage chronic pain over a long period. Types of prescriptions opioids include:
Doctors tend to prescribe opioids in pill form. In a hospital setting, they can be safely administered in sensible doses intravenously. Most experts agree that doctors should only prescribe opioids in cases of severe acute pain or particular instances of chronic long-term pain. There are other methods of achieving pain relief that do not have the potential for addiction with opioid and opiate use.
Common Signs of Addiction
There are many common signs of addiction. Some are more specific to opioid and opiate use. However, many symptoms overlap with signs of dependency and addiction to other substances. Some symptoms may include:
- Prioritizing use
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Increase in use
- Hiding amount of use
- Relationship issues
- Loss of interest
- Lack of responsibility
Short-Term Effects of Opioid Use and Abuse
Opioid use can result in physical dependence and addiction. There is also the possibility that a person can become psychologically addicted. Over time, the habit of use can too quickly turn into abuse.
Physicians and pharmacists have become more careful about refilling prescriptions for opiates that may not be necessary. This is in line with research and studies that have revealed how addictive these substances are and how easily a person can unintentionally become addicted to opiates and opioids through no fault of their own.
Dependence can occur as a person’s body becomes used to the presence of opiates in their system. As a result, a person develops more and more tolerance. Furthermore, they require a higher dosage to achieve the same effects that they previously experienced. Initially, a person may simply be doing their best to manage acute pain due to surgery, wisdom tooth removal, or an injury.
Because opioids are a highly addictive substance and tolerance can develop quickly, people sadly find themselves addicted to them in surprisingly little time. Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, and cravings cause those who have developed a dependency to seek more and more opioids to feel normal. Often, people do not realize they have developed a dependence until it’s too late.
Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Feelings of restlessness
- Cold flashes
Withdrawal symptoms can differ based on the length and severity of the addiction. Some acute withdrawal symptoms can persist for years. In order to help people return to their baseline, supervised medicated-assisted detox or medicated-assisted treatment may be necessary.
Long-Term Effects of Opioid Use and Abuse
Opioids should be the last resort for most types of chronic pain. For one thing, opioids can make some types of chronic pain worse. This includes migraines which opioids can make worse and occur even more frequently.
In general, over time, your body gets used to the effect of opioids. In order to continue to get relief, you will likely require higher and higher doses. Dependency and addiction are likely results. There is also the fear of overdose.
Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® about Opioid Recovery Treatment Options
A staggering number of Americans have used or know somebody who has used opioids. Even those who haven’t battled addiction know someone who has. However, it’s never too late to find a program that will help those in need return to a healthy, sober lifestyle.
Reach out to the medical professionals at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614 to speak with a trained representative who can provide you with more information about treatment options for opioid recovery.