Whether taking opioids by prescription through a doctor or getting these drugs on the street illegally, addiction to them often takes a person by surprise. False information about the danger of abusing opioids is abundant. Kids get caught up in addiction and destroy their lives. Any person who has been prescribed opioids for pain can also find they cannot stop taking them, even though the reason they started taking them is healed.
Opioids are various types of medications that help relieve pain. Pain signals going to the brain are “numbed” and diminish the feelings, both emotionally and physically. The decreased perception of pain is the desired effect, and although these drugs have vast and unpleasant side-effects, people continue to take them. Sometimes they can’t stop and sometimes they have such pain that they must carry on using them.
Some of the medications that are in the class of opioids are OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine. Hydrocodone is also one of the most popular kinds of opioid. Cough medicines contain some opioids.
Opioids can create a sense of euphoria when taking them, as well as relieve pain or suppress coughing. The problem with this type of drug is that a person can become dependent on it, and then when trying to come off of it, experience withdrawal symptoms. Those who use the drug recreationally are going after the feeling of well-being they have when taking it. However, they also can become dependent on the drug and often do.
Other side effects of opioids are:
At times, those who abuse these prescription drugs will use them in ways that increase the risks and side effects. For instance, OxyContin can be snorted or injected. This makes it stronger in the system and can result in overdose.
There are other effects that can be had from opioids, such as hallucinations, hypothermia and muscle rigidity. Potent opioids can be extremely dangerous. Some people using opioids even find they experience pain, which is ironic considering these drugs are considered pain relievers.
On top of the physical problems from taking opioids, there is the disruption to life’s normal routines. Those who become addicted fail to keep jobs and lose friends, as their entire focus becomes getting more pills. As they build a tolerance, they need more and more drug to get the effect they expect. Opioids can increase the amount of accidents a person has.
When a person is addicted and cannot get enough pills to satisfy their cravings, they will go through withdrawal. It becomes necessary to find that next pill, no matter what. The withdrawal symptoms are so awful, they will do virtually anything to get the next fix. Some of the symptoms include insomnia, diarrhea, restlessness, vomiting, cold flashes and bone pain.
Both young and old can end up abusing opioids. Examples of drugs that are often abused are over-the-counter medications. These include sleep aids, some cough suppressants as well as antihistamines. When abused, the abuser will usually increase the effects by mixing the drug with alcohol or other illicit drugs. This can be extremely dangerous, but this fact is ignored, even if the person is aware of it. The all-important factor is alleviating those cravings and avoiding withdrawal symptoms.
There are a lot of treatment programs out there that can help someone get off opioids. Some offer substitute drugs to try and ease a person off the opioids. Unfortunately, Suboxone is one that addicts can end up selling so they can get more of the opioids they desire. Suboxone is also addictive so the person may just now have a new addiction. The same goes for all substitute medications.
We can find a treatment program that 1) has a high success rate, 2) does not use other addictive medications and 3) provides effective assistance to put the person on the right road to recovery, letting the recovering addict discover for himself what led him down the wrong road. Lasting recovery is possible!