What is Opioid Addiction?
Opioids are a specific type of pain medication that blocks pain and creates a feeling of euphoria for the user. A handful of different types of drugs fall under this label: Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Buprenorphine, Methadone, Oxymorphone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, and Morphine.
Often opioid addicts begin their usage innocently. The addict sustains an injury that requires legitimate pain medication. Then eventually, the pain meds don’t work as well as the victim hopes, or they find themselves taking more meds to get the same effect.
They begin to deal with their pain with only the meds, and before they know it, they’ve developed an opioid dependence. Even when the opioid is prescribed appropriately, an addiction can result.
The move from opioid user to opioid addict starts when the opioid changes the chemistry of the brain. This then leads to drug tolerance. Then the user needs more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
Opioids were not necessarily a bad thing from the start. After all doctors, people who pledge to protect life, prescribed them.
But the desire to kill more than just physical pain has led to the overuse of opioids, and then dependence, and subsequently desperation.
This is opioid addiction and often the story of every opioid addict, good people who weren’t just looking for a fix, but people who had a legitimate injury and then received relief and then couldn’t let go.
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What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?
Short-Term Opioid Addiction Symptoms
Drowsiness: Feeling abnormally sleepy or tired during the day. Forgetfulness or falling asleep at inappropriate times.
Slowed breathing: The opioids can attach to central nervous system receptors . This can dramatically slow the breathing rate. An opioid overdose can become life-threatening and cause to stop breathing completely.
Constipation: the heavy usage of opioids can make become constipated.
Unconsciousness: Opioids can lead to a decreased level of consciousness, pinpoint pupils and respiratory depression.
Long-Term Opioid Addiction Symptoms
Continued use or abuse of opioids can result in physical dependence and addiction. The body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped. These include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”). Tolerance can also occur, meaning that long-term users must increase their doses to achieve the same high.
Learn More About Lifeline’s Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Partial Hospitalization Treatment
During partial hospitalization treatment, the individual receives continuous care. This involves supervision from a medical staff and daily therapeutic groups. For long-term users, this can be one of the best options. They’ll participate in one-on-one and group therapy led by experienced counselors. During treatment, the individual will learn important skills for coping with life without cocaine. These programs typically last either 30, 60, or 90 days.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
This type of treatment involves a patient completing care while living either in a sober living or at their own home. Instead of residing in a center, they’ll attend treatment and groups for several hours each day, meeting with a drug counselor and participate in group therapy sessions. Intensive Outpatient care is a good option for people who need low levels of accountability, or have already completed a higher level of treatment.
Regardless of whether a person completes PHP or IOP levels of treatment, it is still important that they continue their recovery outside of a treatment center. Sober Living is a great way to continue to receive accountability over time, while building up their lives. Sober living houses do not usually provide any therapy, but they do provide drug testing, as well as ensure that residents are attending recovery groups such as AA outside of the house.