“Abuse, Effects, and Treatment: The Truth about Opioids”

Opioids and opiates are different from one another. And if someone close to you is suffering from an addiction, it is necessary to know the difference. Learning about different drugs and their effects could help you find the right treatment center for the patient.

Today we will be talking about opioids: what it is, what its medical uses are, and what happens when somebody abuses the drug.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors in order to create effects similar to morphine. Medically, they are used to relieve pain. They are also frequently used recreationally, which is why many people get hooked on it and encounter problems along the way.

Technically speaking, opioids actually include substances that are categorized as opiates, even if they can’t be used interchangeably. Opioids can be synthetic, whereas opiates are always natural.

Examples of opioids are hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl.

Because of their addictive qualities, opioids are carefully controlled by the government. Smuggling, producing, and using the drugs beyond prescription is forbidden by law.

Medical Uses of Opioids

These drugs are primarily used to provide relief for pain, ranging from mild to severe. Most of these are given with prescription. If your doctor prescribes a drug that is categorized as an opioid, be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than is recommended. These drugs are quite habit-forming.

Studies have proven that opioids are safe when used correctly.

Adverse Effects of Opioids

Recreational use of opioids can produce a number of adverse effects, both short term and long term. The effects may vary from person to person as it is affected by the frequency of use and the dosage taken. Common short term side effects include drowsiness, paranoia, respiratory depression, nausea, and lethargy.

Because of the drugs’ euphoric effects, they are extremely addictive. Measurable symptoms of addiction may manifest after a few days of abusing the drug.

Long term adverse effects include constipation, liver damage, brain damage, and development of dependence.

Developing dependence will cause a person to experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit the drugs. They may experience irritability, excessive sweating, and vomiting. These effects make it much harder for a drug dependent person to stop.

Opioid Addiction and Treatment

Drug addiction involves a complex set of behaviors that are associated with misuse of substances. It develops over time as the body requires more and more of the drug to get the same effects. Addiction involves psychological compulsion, to the point where the user’s actions become dangerous to himself and to the people around him.

At this point, proper rehabilitation is required in order to help the person recover.

Recovery starts with finding the right treatment center for the patient. The best treatment method will be determined via medical examination. Several factors will be taken into consideration, including history of substance abuse, frequency of drug use, and the person’s health condition.

Detoxification will often follow, which involves gradually lowering the person’s drug intake while managing the various withdrawal symptoms.

They may be advised to go with either residential rehab or outpatient therapy—this depends on their situation. With the right treatment facility and program, they can easily make their way back to living a sober life.