Opioid addiction symptoms are presented by individuals who struggle with Opioid Use Disorder. The potency of opioids comes from the fact that they bind to preexisting receptor sites in the brain. Endorphins are naturally occurring substances in the brain that have similar effects to opioids, such as a reduction in pain, increased sensations of euphoria, and an overall sense of well-being.
Opioid dependence can lead to a chronic condition known as opioid use disorder (OUD). Millions of people in the United States deal with OUD, making it a serious problem. There are 3 million people in the United States who have experienced or are currently living with opioid use disorder, and 16 million people worldwide who have experienced or are currently living with this condition (OUD).
Users may repeatedly engage in substance misuse with the expectation of more of the same enjoyable effects. As tolerance to the drug’s effects builds up over time, those who abuse it are more likely to become physically dependent on it.
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What are The Common Side Effects of Opioid Use?
Constipation and nausea are the two most prevalent negative reactions to opioids. These negative effects are notoriously difficult to deal with, and tolerance typically does not build up over time. Constipation is especially problematic.
Opioid use also often causes drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependency, tolerance, and respiratory depression. Delayed stomach emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal abnormalities, muscular rigidity, and myoclonus are some of the rarer adverse effects that may occur.
What is the Best Way to Treat Opioid Use Disorder?
Preventing overdoses and increasing access to treatment are essential first steps to recovery. Treatment for opioid addiction has the potential to save lives by reducing the severity of the disease’s negative effects on the brain and behavior. In the end, the goal of treatment is to get the patient back to where they belong in society, where they can contribute fully to their family and work.
Unprescribed opioid usage, such as snorting or injecting, greatly increases the risk of dependency. There is already a high risk of death associated with this method, and adding a pill with a long duration of action further increases that risk.
Depending on the individual circumstances, opioid addiction treatment can look very different, last very long, or do everything in between. Addiction to opioids can be treated successfully with medication alone or in conjunction with behavioral therapy. Opioid addiction therapy has a better chance of succeeding when medication is used.
Medication for opioid addiction helps people stay clean by easing cravings, calming anxiety, and in some cases, completely eradicating withdrawal symptoms. It’s up to the patient to decide whether or not to take medication as part of their healing process, despite the fact that there is strong evidence to suggest that doing so can hasten the process.
Opioid Abuse Symptoms and Signs
Abuse of opioids is difficult to hide in the beginning stages of a substance use disorder. However, with time, they begin to show the telltale signs of misuse. Some frequent opioid addiction symptoms are described below, though the specific indicators of abuse will vary depending on the opioid being abused.
- Obtaining opioid prescriptions under the pretense.
- Seeing many doctors obtain multiple opioid prescriptions.
- Subpar work output.
- Unexplained Absences.
- Cutting off contact with loved ones.
- Theft of medications from other people.
- Observable shifts in one’s physical presentation, such as a loss of weight or changes in personal hygiene.
- A history of IV drug usage as evidenced by scabs, open wounds, or puncture marks.
- Inadequate motor and coordination skills.
- Problems with digestion, such as nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Narrowing pupils.
- Sluggish cognition.
- lack of ability to solve problems or use good judgment.
- Isolation, or a lack of connection to one’s environment.
- Focusing becomes difficult.
- Effects on mental health and social life.
- Fluctuating emotions.
- Abrupt, irrational outbursts.
What is The Mode of Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder?
Medications that act as either opioid agonists or antagonists, along with psychosocial assistance, are typically used as a first line of treatment against OUD.
Individuals suffering from mild to severe addiction (physical dependence) — Best persons with moderate to severe opioid use disorder benefit most from pharmacologic management as an initial course of treatment (OUD). Experts also stress the importance of providing emotional and social support alongside medical treatment.
Medication for OUD (MOUD) has been shown in clinical studies and research to improve abstinence, increase treatment retention, and decrease mortality (including suicide) throughout stable treatment periods.
Opioid agonists (buprenorphine or methadone) are typically recommended over opioid antagonists for the first treatment of moderate to severe OUD in pharmacological management (i.e., naltrexone). It is suggested that buprenorphine be chosen as an agonist of choice rather than methadone.
Patients who have established a strong tolerance to agonists (as seen by the need for increasingly greater dosages to have the intended effect) are best served by methadone. Those who are unable or unwilling to pursue agonist treatment can benefit from naltrexone, but they must first go through a medically supervised withdrawal period before beginning an antagonist.
Treatment for Opioid Dependence | AspenRidge Recovery Center
When it comes to opioid use disorder (OUD), even when an individual has achieved sobriety, they may need continuous therapy to prevent recurrence (either through medically supervised withdrawal or another method).
Medication alone or in combination with behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for opioid addiction. Incorporating medication into a treatment plan for opioid addiction increases the likelihood of success. In Colorado, AspenRidge Recovery Center is the place to go for effective opioid addiction treatment.