Opioid addiction is an urge to use some medicines called opioids. They are mostly used for medical reasons, but many people take them to get calm. Opioids can make your brain and body want more and more if you start taking them frequently.
Opioid addiction is a serious issue and one that cannot be left unchecked. The problem has grown to epic proportions in the last few years and negatively affects millions of lives.
In this blog, we will look at how you can prevent opioid addiction by talking about how opioid addiction works and how it affects millions of people. We will also look at how we can prevent opioid addiction.
What Are Opioids
Opioids are drugs available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and many others. They work by binding to your body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. While opioid can help to manage pain, it also has the potential to be abused and is sometimes misused.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioids were involved in over 165,000 emergency department visits in 2009 and contributed to almost 19,000 overdose deaths in 2013. Opioid abuse and misuse can be difficult to prevent, as opioid painkillers are legal and easily available.
What Is Opioid Addiction
Growing tolerance for the drug often characterizes opioid addiction. Opioid makes people very relaxed and high, which is why people take them until they become addicted to them.
Can You Get Addicted to Opioids
As opioids make people calm and relaxed, it is very easy to get addicted to them. If you take it once or twice a week to them, it is not a problem, but if you take it regularly, you will soon become addicted to them. Within a few weeks, you will become addicted to it.
How Do Opioids Work
Opioids help lower the number of pain signals your body sends to your brain. It also makes your brain calm. It is completely safe and helpful when used correctly. People get easily addicted to opioids to calm themselves by using these opioid drugs illegally, including:
- Hydromorphone and oxymorphone
Why Do Doctors Prescribe Opioids
Doctors prescribe opioids worldwide to treat many issues, including dental problems, surgeries, injuries, diarrhea, and chronic conditions such as cancer.
Opioids are important in treatments, but it is also very easy to get addicted to them if you use them continuously.
Is Opioid Addiction Treatment Covered by Insurance
You will find that most Insurance covers opioid addiction treatment in different states all over the USA. The coverage plans may differ depending on factors like the severity of addiction, your age, duration of treatment, and the state you live in. Don’t worry about the cost of addiction treatment, simply contact your insurer like Cigna Health Insurance and get all the details.
What If You Take Too Many Opioids
If you or someone are experiencing the following symptoms after taking opioids, you probably are experiencing an opioid overdose and need medical help immediately.
- Irregular breathing patterns or not breathing
- Slow or no pulse
- Small pupils in the eyes
- Snoring sounds
- Blue skin and lip color
What Should You Do in Case of Drug Overdose
- If you are following these symptoms, you need immediate medical treatment. Call your doctor or 911 for immediate action in the case of an overdose.
- A nasal spray called naloxone (Narcan) is prescribed by many doctors in case of an overdose but call your doctor before taking it or giving it to anyone.
- If you get little to no response, perform mouth-to-mouth with the person.
What Do You Mean by Drug Dependence
If you have been taking a drug for a long time and now your body and brain are continuously craving that drug, you can’t stop taking it no matter how hard you try to stop it is called drug dependence.
What Are the Symptoms You Feel When You Try to Stop Taking Opioids
Withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe according to how long you have been taking the drugs. These are the few symptoms you will feel when you stop taking it.
- Nausea or vomiting
If you take it continuously and want to stop, talk with your doctor. They will help you to avoid these symptoms by gradually lowering your dose of opioids until you are craving them anymore or by prescribing you some medicines to prevent the withdrawal symptoms.
Factors Putting Opioid Misuse at Risk
Research suggests that certain personality traits may make you more likely to abuse opioids. These risk factors include:
- Drug use history of the individual
- existing psychological and physical issues
- exposure to a drug abuse-prone setting
- lack of understanding of medications’ negative effects
How To Use Opioids Without Becoming Addicted to Them
Many people use it for medical reasons without becoming addicted to them. If you use it once or twice a week or only for a week, you are more likely not to get addicted to opioids if you use them as prescribed by your doctor.
What Are the Common Signs of Opioid Addiction
Addiction is such a curse that it not only affects the abuser, but also the people around them. Most addicts are abandoned by their family and friends because no one can tolerate their habit of abusing drugs. Signs of opioid addiction cannot be detect immediately until a doctor diagnoses them. However, over time, these are some signs that you will notice in an opioid addict.
- Start to lose weight
- Being tired throughout the day
- Being cranky
- Wants to sleep more than usual
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Feeling abnormally sleepy or tired throughout the day
- Change in sleeping pattern
- Frequent flu symptoms
- Social isolation
- Financial problems
- Unable to control opioid usage
- Irresistible cravings
- Stealing from family members and friends
- Anxiety attacks and depression
- Abnormal breathing patterns
- Craving for opioid
You are addict to opioids if you are craving them and can’t control the urge to use them and keep using them without your doctor’s recommendation. Another sign to find out if you are an addict is to check your relationship with your family and friends or what your behavior is with your colleagues in your workplace. Ask them if they are feeling any behavioral changes in you lately.
What is the Treatment for Opioid Addiction
There are many treatment opioid addiction treatment programs. You just need to find the one that suits your needs the best. There is:
- Intensive Outpatient
Each program is just as effective as the other. That said, most people are shifting their focus to Telehealth services. The reason behind the shift is easy access to healthcare services. With Telehealth services, a patient is not require to visit or stay 24/7 in a rehab. Rather they will visit on schedule days and on other days they can simply connect with their doctor virtually. Here is how addiction treatment centers prevent opioid addiction in their patients:
- Treatment for addiction to opioid use is available from medical professionals. Opioid Medication Assisted Treatment Programs are available at facilities, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone paired with support programs can help people recover from their addiction and get a better life.
- Opioid addiction is a chronic illness mainly treat as a chronic illness. It would help if you talked to your doctor about how you feel.
- Consult an experienced doctor for the treatment because they know how to treat each opioid-addicted person. With the help of the treatment, you will stop craving it and avoid taking it in the future.
- When you stop taking opioids, your body will react, which is called withdrawal. You’ll feel nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, and anxiety. Call your doctor if you are feeling these symptoms; he will provide you with medicines to reduce the pain, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and control the cravings.
- Start talking with your family and friends. It will keep you emotionally and mentally stable.
- These treatments also help you avoid opioid addiction. If you feel that your depression and anxiety are worsening, ask your doctor to recommend individual, group, or family counseling and cognitive therapy.
What are Some Commonly Used Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction
Medications along with counseling and therapies are a proven way to treat opioid addiction. Let’s take a look at how some medications can help prevent opioid addiction in addicts.
Methadone And Buprenorphine
Methadone and buprenorphine are use to reduce withdrawal symptoms. These medicines target the same area in the brain that opioids target. Both are safe, do not make you feel high, and help restore balance to your brain and allow it to heal.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), These medicines are safe for long-term and even lifetime use. If your doctor has prescribed you opioids, do not quit them without discussing them with your doctor.
Naltrexone is also an effective medicine prescribe by doctors. It doesn’t help you stop taking opioids but will help you prevent relapsing (start retaking opioids).
Like methadone and buprenorphine, this medicine will not help you with your cravings for opioids or withdrawal. According to NIH, Naltrexone will help you from feeling high when you take opioids.
Is Opioid Addiction a Severe Health Problem
Most people tend to overlook mental health problems and problems to substance abuse. But they should also be consider just as important as any physical health emergency. Opioid addiction is a severe health problem in the United States and worldwide. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as of 2017, over 115 people in the U.S die from an opioid overdose every day. There are many hazards of taking opioids while pregnant. Opioids should be avoid in pregnancy.
Opioids are natural or synthetic drugs that act on the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to reduce pain intensity. They are use to treat pain and can be prescribe by doctors to patients who need them. Opioid abuse is a problem when people are using them for nonmedical reasons. It is a common problem among people who abuse drugs and can lead to addiction, overdose, and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 91 Americans die daily from an opioid overdose.
What Can Help Quit Opioid Addiction
If you are or getting addicted to opioids and want to quit, then following the few steps given below will help you to fight opioid addiction:
Fight With Opioid Addiction
The first step toward quitting opioid addiction is fighting. You have to fight cravings for opioids. No matter what, do not take it once you have thought about leaving it for good.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you think that you can’t control your craving for opioids, get help from your doctor. They will help you with your cravings and withdrawal symptoms and prescribe you medicines. Sharing how you feel while quitting the opioids will help you in your journey toward quitting.
Get Support from Your Family and Friends
Family and friends can be your biggest support system in your hard times. Spend quality time with them, and share everything related to your journey towards quitting.
How To Prevent Opioid Addiction
- Never take opioids in amounts greater than your doctor prescribed.
- Let your doctor know about any concerns about taking opioids or if you are feeling any addiction symptoms.
- Don’t use opioids with alcohol or other medicines; it can be very dangerous to combine opioids with other drugs.
- Don’t give your opioids to anyone.
- Store your prescription in a secure place and out of reach from others.
- If you are not taking opioids anymore, flush the prescription down the toilet.
Opioid addiction has become a growing epidemic in the United States. As the number of addicts rises, so does the number of deaths and emergency room visits. This is a very serious issue that needs to be address immediately. The number of overdoses is climbing, and the death toll is horrifying due to opioid addiction. We can prevent them by following the tips given above in the article.