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How to Recognize and Deal with Opioid Addiction

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Opioids are commonly used to provide pain relief. They diminish the number of pain signals that the body sends to the brain and alter the brain’s response to those signals. They are often prescribed to manage pain in cases involving:

  • Toothaches
  • Dental procedures
  • Severe injuries
  • Surgery
  • Chronic, painful conditions like cancer, fibromyalgia, etc.
  • Severe coughing

Taken under medical supervision and according to the doctor’s recommendation, opioids are generally safe. Addiction sets in when patients misuse the drugs or exceed the recommended dosage.

About Opioid Addiction

People taking opioids in high doses and/or over long periods may become addicted to them. They build tolerance to the drug they are on and they need more and more of it in order to obtain the same effects. Their body gets used to the drug and starts craving it when it doesn’t receive it or the dose is not enough.

The most commonly prescribed opioids are:

  • Opium
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol
  • Oxymorphone
  • Sufentanil
  • Paregoric

Becoming addicted to any of these drugs is easy. When addiction sets in, it interferes with the patient’s ability to cope with their daily routine.

How to Recognize Opioid Addiction

It is safe to assume that a person is addicted to opioids when, while they are under treatment, they display the following signs:

  • Poor coordination
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow or shallow breathing rate
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Physical agitation
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Slurred speech
  • Sleeping problems
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Euphoria
  • Depression

Most addicts will lose their ability to make decisions, abandon their responsibilities, and lose their motivation and interest for activities they used to enjoy. As they build tolerance to the drug, they become more likely to overdose.

Opioid Overdose

Opioid overdoses are life-threatening and require immediate treatment. Patients who overdose are usually unresponsive or lose their conscience. They breathe erratically or stop breathing. Their pulse is slow, erratic, or drops. Vomiting and constricted pupils are common as well.

Many patients and their relatives believe that opioid addiction can be overcome at home. While it is not impossible, it is extremely difficult. Overcoming addiction involved completely cutting off opioids, which would induce withdrawal symptoms. These can be difficult to put up with and often drive recovering addicts to relapse.

Opioids Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms usually start within 12 hours from the last dose. The early symptoms include:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Muscular pain
  • Teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Yawning

If withdrawal continues, the patient may develop other symptoms as well: diarrhea, abdominal cramps, goose bumps, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils. Although uncomfortable, these symptoms are not life-threatening. They are, as mentioned above, difficult to manage. That is why it is best to get opioid addiction treatment in specialized recovery

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid rehab begins with a case evaluation. Its purpose is to assess the patient’s needs, their motivation, and their support network. The results will enable the recovery specialists to identify the best treatment program and approach for the respective patient.

Some patients decide to seek help early and are strong enough to complete their recovery at home. Others need temporary or permanent care. Some addiction cases involve co-occurring disorders that need treatment as well. Others have underlying causes that need to be identified and eliminated.

For patients who are on their own, individual and group therapy are sufficient. For those with friends and families, the recovery process needs to cover family counseling as well. In order for a recovery program to work, it needs to address all the patient’s needs and problems.

The patient has to acknowledge and accept their addiction. They need to find the desire and motivation to fight it. In recovery centers, patients find the tools, care, resources, advice, and support required to overcome their addiction.

Get the Help Your Or Your Loved One Need and Get Opioid Addiction Treatment Now!

If you are reading this, it means you or a loved one are battling opioid addiction. We can help you overcome it. At Asheville Recovery Center, we use the newest and most effective opioid addiction treatment methods to ensure that our patients quit opioids for good.

To find out more about our methods and resources, schedule a FREE consultation at our facility in Asheville, NC. We are always eager to help our peers and change their lives for the better.