Most of us have been prescribed an opioid a time or two in our lives, but some may not know how easy it is to start abusing them and become addicted. Unfortunately, even though most of them are prescribed to us by our doctors, all opioids have the potential for abuse and addiction. Without knowing the signs of opioid abuse, it can be difficult to tell if a person is addicted or not. Even if a person starts off using opioids normally, it is possible for them to become addicted.
At Principles Recovery, we believe every person deserves the best odds at recovery, and that starts with recognizing the signs of addiction. In this post, we are going to discuss the symptoms of opioid abuse, which drugs are opioids, and how to find opioid treatment programs.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a classification of drugs used to identify those drugs that are primarily used for pain treatment and management. Most opioids are obtained via prescription and are used to treat things like pain from broken bones, chronic illness, and severe or ongoing pain. Because of their pain-relieving qualities, opioids are some of the most widely prescribed drugs in America.
Opioids can be either short-acting or long-acting drugs. They work by acting on the brain and the central nervous system to relieve pain in the short term and change how the pain receptors activate when sensing pain so that long-term pain relief can be achieved. Over time this causes a chemical change in the nervous system and in the brain.
There are two primary reasons why opioids are highly addictive.
The first reason that opioids are so addictive is that many people enjoy how they make them feel. Some opioids even have the effect of producing a euphoria-like feeling that is similar to a high. Those that enjoy the feeling they get from the drug will continue to use it, going past the prescribed amount and eventually becoming addicted. This can lead to changes in behavior and in the way that they ingest the drug.
A second reason why so many become addicted to opioids, in particular, is how they interact with the body and brain. The changes that occur in the central nervous system and brain cause the body to need opioids to function normally. When not present the body goes through what is known as withdrawal. The beginning stages of the change are known as chemical dependence. Chemical dependence ultimately leads to full-blown addiction with the person experiencing cravings for the drug.
Which Drugs Are Opioids
There are a number of drugs that are classified as opioids. Most of the prescribed painkillers are opioids. Some popular names include oxycontin and oxycodone, as well as most drugs in the “oxy” family. Others include Percocet and Vicodin.
Other illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl are also under the opioid classification. Opioids come in two types, short-acting and long-acting. Depending on the type of opioid, this will determine how soon withdrawal symptoms set in and how long they will last.
It is also important to note that all opioids are considered controlled substances, and the dispensation of prescriptions is highly regulated. However, even if a person takes the drug as intended, over time, there is still a chance for them to become addicted. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of abuse to look out for.
What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Abuse?
If someone is abusing opioids, you will notice some distinct changes in their behavior. Signs of misuse include:
- Taking more than is prescribed.
- Changing the way that person ingests the medication, such as snorting or injecting the drug.
- Drug-seeking behavior such as trying to procure other prescriptions once theirs runs out.
You may also notice that they have mood changes and begin to distance themselves from friends and family, and lie about drug use and behaviors associated with it.
How to Find Opioid Treatment Programs
If you or a loved one is suffering from an opioid addiction in South Florida, then the time is now to come to Principles Recovery Center. We not only offer treatment for opioid addiction, but we also offer a full range of care, from Florida dual diagnosis treatment to treatment for adolescents and teens to an outpatient program for those with life responsibilities that keep them from staying at our facility.
Contact Principles Recovery Center today if you or a loved one are ready for treatment. Principles Recovery Center is a Florida rehab center that offers addiction and mental health treatment.