Opioids are depressant drugs with analgesic properties that come in many forms. They can be created from natural ingredients in plants or produced as synthetics. Sometimes, prescription opioid use is undertaken for short-term medical reasons.

Unfortunately, opioid use can be dangerous. It is important to only use prescription opioids under careful medical supervision. Otherwise, you may be at risk of opioid addiction.

Prescription Opioids

The most well-known forms of opioids are codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. These are classified as narcotics. They may be prescribed by a medical professional to treat pain.

  • Codeine is a substance commonly used for pain and coughing. It is derived from the natural opium found in the poppy plant.
  • Oxycodone is used for pain and is semi-synthetic. Common brands of this narcotic are Percocet and Oxycontin.
  • Morphine is a more potent pain reliever. It is used to treat severe and consistent pain that cannot be relieved with other substances.

These narcotics can be abused after initial treatment. This is due to the euphoric high one could receive when opioids are administered in mild to high doses. Opioid addiction may occur if people stay on prescription opioids for too long.

Recreational Opioids

Although opioids are common medications, they can also be created and distributed illegally. Illegal opioid forms include heroin and fentanyl.

Heroin is formed from morphine. However, its effects are even stronger because it comes in contact with the blood in the brain more rapidly.

Some people seek out heroin after an initial experience with prescription opioids. One may seek more intense effects when they are no longer prescribed medical opioids or if they have built a tolerance.

Fentanyl is even more extreme than heroin. Use of fentanyl can be incapacitating at minimal doses and sometimes even deadly. It is similar to morphine and heroin but about 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl can look similar to heroin and is one of the strongest opioids.

Reasons for Opioid Use

The treatment of pain is the leading reason for opioid use. However, one does not have to struggle with pain to start using them. Many individuals have tried a form of opioid and liked its effects.

Opioids can be taken by mouth, intravenously, smoked, and snorted. Immediate effects include an enjoyable high and a reduction in pain. However, once those effects wear off, the effects that follow can be unpleasant and dangerous.

Using opioids commonly involves dissociative experiences. It often numbs feelings in the body and brain. This is a reason why it is so risky and addictive despite the adverse and harmful effects.

Negative Side Effects of Opioid Use

The negative short-term side effects of opioid use involve:

  • Nausea
  • Excessive itching
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of memory
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

There are also long-term effects of opioid use. After all, using opioids slows down the functions of the nervous system at a rapid rate. This can make someone less focused, disorganized, and careless over time. Opioid use can also change the function of the brain and body due to the high levels of dopamine that are released.

These long-term changes can affect their ability to function regularly, which can lead to a reduction in quality of life. One can also experience uncontrollable sedation that puts them in harm’s way.

Severe Side Effects of Opioid Use

To date, synthetic opioids are the leading cause of drug overdose and death. Opioid addiction is another severe consequence of opioid use.

Due to their potency, opioids can make people dependent on them quickly. Because of their ability to remove pain and produce a high, opioids are extremely addictive.

Often, there is a step before addiction called tolerance. Whether narcotic or synthetic, opioids can change the brain and body of those who use them. Over time, the person becomes tolerant to the effects of opioids. This leads them to use more of the drug more often to feel the same effects. Unfortunately, this leads to addiction.

Opioid Withdrawal

Suppose someone has an addiction to prescribed or illegally manufactured opioids. When they stop taking opioids at the amount they are used to, their body will go into withdrawal.

This is something every opioid user wants to avoid. Unmanaged opioid withdrawal is said to be one of the worst types of pain that can be experienced. Withdrawal symptoms can include seizures, sensory deficiencies, vomiting, sweating, body aches and pain, dehydration, and total body sickness. It can also result in life-threatening situations without proper medical attention.

To cease opioid use, seek a medical detox at a qualified treatment center. This can reduce the physical pain, psychological stress, and danger of opioid withdrawal.

Recovery from Opioid Addiction

Becoming addicted to opioids can set people up with a life-long struggle to avoid these drugs. Each time someone experiences pleasure from opioid use, they increase the severity of their addiction.

Unfortunately, one can have difficulty functioning without opioids after becoming dependent on them. This is because opioid use numbs senses in the body, and the brain remembers that as pleasure. People with opioid addiction face a psychological battle to avoid further opioid use. Fortunately, treatment programs and lifelong recovery support can help.

Opioid use often leads to addiction and increased risks of overdose and death. It can also harm the mental health of the user and their loved ones. Opioids can take over someone’s life in the blink of an eye. It might be difficult for someone to realize they have an addiction, take accountability, or seek help. Although it can be a challenging thing to navigate, Dream Recovery is here for you. We know that addiction is not a choice, but seeking support is. We can help you find the treatment that will work for you. At our facility, we have a staff that understands the impact addiction can create in life. Call (657) 216-7218 now.

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