Opioids are not just heroin, opium, codeine, and fentanyl. Certain regular drugs that doctors often prescribe to kill pain are also opioids. Some of the commonly prescribed opioids are tramadol, morphine, hydromorphone and oxymorphone, hydrocodone and oxycodone, and methadone.
When taken as prescribed, opioid medicines do not harm. They do what they are meant to do – numb the pain.
Problem (addiction) arises when people misuse the drug. They take it either longer than prescribed, or higher the dose than prescribed.
Maine drug rehab center treats numerous opioid addicts regularly. This proves that addiction to opioids is rampant.
Why do doctors prescribe opioids?
Doctors prescribe opioids to treat pain in the following conditions:
- Dental procedures and toothache
- Other acute and chronic pains in the body
Do you know certain cough syrups or pills also contain opioids? No wonder you begin to like taking the syrup that your doctor prescribed and want to take even when your cough is gone!
How do opioids work?
Opioids reduce the number of pain signals that your nerves transmit to your brain. They also alter the way your brain responds to pain.
Medically speaking, opioids are safe when they are used correctly. It’s only the misuse that creates health complications and opioid addiction.
Many people use opioids illegally.
Addiction brings changes in physical and mental health, behavior, social life, and overall personality and appearance in a person. This is because when a person is addicted, he or she is less likely to take care of himself/herself. They would overlook personal hygiene. Would care less about nutrition. Like to stay secluded or only among their “drug friends.” All they want is the drug and all they care about is the drug.
If you know somebody who shows such signs, it would be wise to call an addiction hotline. Addicts are not always bad people. It’s the drug that controls them. Opioids are notorious for altering the brain circuitry, which leads to change in behavior, thinking, and overall outlook on life.
Addiction is such a sad disease that a person cannot come out of it even if he or she wants to. They simply can’t stop using the drug as per their wish.
They urgently need a proper drug rehab program.
Signs and symptoms of addiction
- Mood swings
- Anxiety attacks
- Decreased motivation in everyday life activities
- Poor decision-making ability
- Physical agitation
- Escaping from responsibilities
- Slow or shallow breathing
Signs of opioid overdose
- Cannot wake up or becomes unresponsive
- No pulse or slow, erratic pulse
- No breathing or slow, irregular breathing
- Small eye pupils
The above are signs of an emergency. Please call 911 immediately in this condition. The first aid for this condition is using Naloxone. If you or somebody in your family is addicted to opioids, you must talk to a doctor to keep this medicine in hand.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms are as intense as the addiction itself. That’s why doctors advise never to attempt withdrawing from opioids on your own. Take expert help.