There are many different categories of drugs. Opioids are a class of drugs that bind to the opioid receptors within a person’s body. The body actually naturally produces chemicals that are meant to control pain and perform other such functions. These opioid receptors are found in the body’s nervous system, within various nerve cells. When a person uses opioid drugs, these substances bind and attach themselves to the receptors in the body, producing a bigger pain-relieving effect. Because of the effects which opioids can cause, people who use these substances can become dependent on them fairly easily. There are a lot of different types of opioid drugs. Some of them are illicit, such as heroin. But there are also some medications which fall under this class of drugs. Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine are all examples of opioids. Fentanyl and codeine are also opioid drugs.
When an individual uses opioid drugs, it is very possible for him or her to become dependent on the substance. Of course, not everyone who uses these drugs becomes dependent on them. But, it’s important to note that, even if the person isn’t using an illicit drug and is consuming opioid medication as directed by a medical professional, dependence can become a problem. In many cases, people who are using a strong, addictive medication grow to depend on their medicine. As a result, they may begin to misuse the substance by taking higher doses than their doctor has recommended or by using the drug more frequently than they should. This happens because, as the body begins to physically dependent on a substance, the individual begins to crave it. Again, these substances can produce a feeling of euphoria. This is a pleasant feeling that is often referred to as a “high”.
Opioid drugs also work to relieve pain and alter the way the brain responds to pain. Since opioids provide this pleasant response and also help to block feelings of pain, users often feel the urge to use these substances. Some of the signs that could indicate that a person has become dependent on opioids are:
If a person grows to depend on opioids, some of these signs may show in his or her life. If this is, in fact, an issue in a person’s life, it’s important to seek professional help. A detox program can help people who are addicted to or dependent on drugs like opioids. Not only can it help to end substance abuse, but it can also help individuals to remain free from addiction for good.
People become dependent on substances like opioids because their bodies get used to the effects of these drugs. The brain produces certain pain controlling chemicals on its own. But, when a person begins to use more pain-relieving substances, the brain will begin to depend on the help of the drug. As a result, the body will no longer function as normal. It will instead count on the opioid to help ease pain and create the “feel good” effect we call euphoria. The fact that the body grows accustomed to the effects of opioids leads to some serious issues. Firstly, the person builds tolerance for the drug. This basically means that his or her body will get used to the drug. So, the individual will need to use more and more of the drug in order to produce the effects that a smaller dose used to give. That’s just the beginning.
After people become tolerant of the drug, they will begin to use more of the drug than they should. This is substance abuse or misuse. After using the substance for a while, the person may become addicted to it. And, since the body is so used to functioning under the influence of the drug, it becomes very difficult to go without using the opioid. So, it’s hard for people in this position to end drug use. If the person stops using the drug, the body will go into a kind of shock called “withdrawal”. Symptoms of withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. Here are some of the common opioid withdrawal symptoms:
Withdrawal can make people very sick. The constant vomiting can lead to dehydration and other issues. Going through withdrawal is a very serious process. Without the proper guidance and medical attention, people who are withdrawing from substance use can become very ill and even face deadly consequences. This is why it’s so important for people to get professional help as they work to overcome opioid addiction.
Despite the negative effects of opioid dependence and addiction, there is hope. People who are suffering from opioid abuse can find freedom from the bondage of addiction. With help from professionals who understand the effects of drug use and the detoxification process, people can find their way to a new life. Addiction doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Instead, it can be a part of the past. Individuals can put their lives of addiction behind them by seeking help from those who truly understand what they need.
Here at Mountainview Recovery, we believe that each of our clients is unique and has individual needs. We know that the people who come to us for help want to find freedom. So, we work to provide that freedom, offering hope and help through our various detox programs and treatment approaches. Our therapy and counseling programs can help to keep people on track and motivate them to keep moving forward on the road to recovery. If you or someone you know could use some help overcoming opioid dependence, allow us to help. Just contact us here at Mountainview Recovery today.