Health Risks of Opioid Addiction

Opioids are a group of drugs that range from codeine to illegal drugs like heroin. Prescription opioids are primarily used for pain relief. They work by attaching to opioid receptors in your brain cells to release signals that block your perception of pain and boost your feelings of pleasure. The strongest legal treatments are usually only available by prescription from a doctor and include but aren’t limited to morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, methadone, diamorphine, and alfentanil.

Opioids are generally used for moderate and severe pain relief. They are intended to be used for a limited period to treat pain that does not respond to standard painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol. Examples of when the drugs are likely to be used include aiding with acute pain such as after surgery or for cancer patients or people at the end of life.

Health Risks of Opioid Addiction

What are the Side Effects of Opioid Addiction?

The most common side effects are tolerance build up because the person must take more of the medication for the same relief. Physical dependence happens once the person suffers from withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped. The user becomes increasingly sensitive to pain. Constipation, nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth are common side effects. Sleepiness and dizziness is a dangerous side effect when it comes to driving vehicles. Confusion, depression, itching, and sweating are also among the top side effects.

Why is Opioid Addiction Dangerous?

Respiratory depression is the chief hazard associated with prescription opioids. Opioids can slow down breathing, depriving the body of oxygen which can lead to accidental overdose or death. It is very dangerous to combine opioids with other medicines or drugs that cause sleepiness such as alcohol, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medications because this can increase the respiratory depression caused by opioids. If someone is drinking or taking sleeping pills and takes what would be the usual dose of opioids, he or she may pass out, stop breathing and die.

Why Does the US Have the Highest Rate of Opioid Addiction?

Per day, there are about one-hundred thirty people that die from an opioid-related drug overdose according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The opioid epidemic, also known as the opioid crisis, refers to the extensive overuse of opioid drugs, both from medical prescriptions and from illegal sources. The epidemic began slowly in the United States, beginning in the late 1990s, and led to an enormous increase in opioid use in recent years, contributing to over 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2018. In 2017 the HHS declared a public health emergency. With the President of the U.S., Donald Trump, the HHS generated a five-point Opioid Strategy. The first step was improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

The second was to target the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs such as Narcan. The third step was to strengthen public health data reporting and collection. The fourth was support cutting edge research on addiction and pain. The last step was to advance the practice of pain management. While these are the priority of the strategy. The main reason that Opioid use has become a crisis in the U.S. is that there is only private insurance available and while doctors could prescribe physical therapy for treatment it is near impossible to have it paid for therefore the doctors are more likely to give out a prescription for Opioids to manage pain.

We Can Help With Opioid Addiction Treatment

Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we offer group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and 12-step addiction treatment. We will look at your health and your life to make an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs and the safest route will be approached. The medical staff will provide care that is around the clock. We are committed to an evidence-based treatment approach to be able to facilitate a long-term recovery for you. If you or a loved one has been struggling with Opioid addiction then take the first courageous step on the road to a healthy and happy life and call now for a confidential evaluation.