Opioid addiction in the U.S is a growing problem with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reporting that about 2.5 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder. Out of the 67,367 deaths nationwide involving opioids, Indiana accounted for 1,104 deaths.
What are opioids and why are they so addictive?
The term opioids refers to both synthetic and natural versions of opiates. These are drugs that are derived naturally from the opium plant. These drugs bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and produce feelings of complete calm and a heightened state of relaxation.
Commonly used opioids include prescription drugs like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin as well as illicit recreational drugs such as opium and heroin.
Prescription opioids are often prescribed legally to treat pain and are safe when used according to the dosage instructions given although they are still highly addictive. When you change the prescription by changing the dose or frequency of medication, you are at risk of becoming addicted or physically dependent on the drugs. Opioids are known to cause terrible withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using them.
Side effects of Opioids
Depending on the dose taken, opioids can induce calmness and intense pleasure. They can also produce a range of adverse effects, causing harm to the body. Some of these short-term effects include confusion, drowsiness, weakness, slurred speech or hallucinations. Long-term effects include seizures, paranoia and breathing difficulties.
Some of the common withdrawal symptoms experienced by those who try going off these drugs include abdominal pain, shaking and tremors, muscle and joint pain, among others.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
When it comes to treating opioid addiction, the most effective treatment is using a combination of medication and counseling or behavioral therapy. This is sometimes referred to as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This form of combination treatment is done after detoxification to break the individual’s dependency on opioids and flush them from their system.
MAT is effective because it decreases opioid use and opioid-related overdose deaths. Additionally, it increases a person’s social functioning and their retention in treatment. One misconception that persists about MAT is that the medication given substitutes one addiction for another. This isn’t true. The medicines used help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by restoring balance to the brain neurons affected by opioid addiction, allowing the brain to heal. This way, the patient’s craving reduce enabling them to start focusing on other aspects of their lives like treatment.
Get Help from Evolve Indy
If you suffer from opioid addiction, you will require professional assistance to stop using the drugs. To recover successfully, you’ll need an individualized treatment program like the ones offered by Evolve Indy at our Recovery Treatment Center in Indiana. An individualized treatment approach can help you break free from opioid dependency while also learning ways to avoid future drug use.
Call us today and speak to one of our addiction specialists.