Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
An Overview of
Opioid Abuse in the United States
Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. They work in the brain to produce a variety of effects, including the relief of pain. Prescription opioids are used to block pain signals between the brain and the body and are typically prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.
There are many different kinds of opiates. Though they are prescribed for pain, they also can produce a sensation of euphoria. This feeling of euphoria can cause the opioid to be abused and a person can quickly become addicted to it.
Heroin is also an opiate and falls into this category however it is illegal and is one of the most abused drugs in the opiate family. Individuals addicted to heroin often put using this substance over anything else in their lives. A one-time use can lead to a life-long addiction to heroin.
People who are addicted to any opioid will continue to use despite negative consequences to their life, health, finances and relationships.
How Opioids are Killing Americans
The Opioid Epidemic: Facts & Statistics
A devastating, yet all too common occurrence of opioid painkiller abuse is an overdose. An overdose is commonly caused by taking too much of a substance at any given time or by combining multiple substances, especially other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 38 percent of all overdose deaths attributed to painkillers.
Opioid overdose is a serious crisis in America. Statistics show that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
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How to Know if someone is abusing opioids?
Signs & Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
There are serious risks and side effects involved in the use of prescription opioids even when taken as directed:
- Tolerance—meaning you might need to take more of the medication for the same pain relief
- Physical dependence—meaning you have symptoms of withdrawal when the medication is stopped
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth
- Sleepiness and dizziness
- Low levels of testosterone that can result in lower sex drive, energy, and strength
- Itching and sweating
In addition to their pain relieving benefits, there is often a sense of euphoria that accompanies the use of opiates. That euphoric feeling is what leads patients to want and even need more and more of the substance. Eventually the opiate abuse escalates to the point where the person can no longer control their use and find themselves unable to stop. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine identify the signs of addiction as:
- The inability to control opioid use
- Uncontrollable cravings
- Changes in sleep habits
- Weight loss
- Frequent flu-like symptoms
- Decreased libido
- Lack of hygiene
- Changes in exercise habits
- Isolation from family or friends
- Stealing from family, friends or businesses
- New financial difficulties
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Overcome Opioid Addiction with Evidence-based treatment
Opioid Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
There are many treatment options to choose from, but the most effective form of treatment for opiate addiction is inpatient medically supervised detox followed by inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab centers have specialized programs for individuals suffering from this type of substance use disorder.
The symptoms of withdrawal from opioids are very uncomfortable and even dangerous, so you will want the help of a qualified medical treatment center to help alleviate the symptoms. The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can show up within 12 hours of the last dose, and include:
- Body aches
- Faster-than-normal heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- High blood pressure
There are some medicinal treatment options that have been shown to help patients recovering from opioid addiction. Medications like methadone or buprenorphine can help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal, and are best administered in an inpatient treatment center.
Once a patient has become physically detoxed, they will still need long term help to overcome the mental obsession and cravings for more opiates. Recovering from opioid abuse is a lifelong process that requires individual and group therapy. A strong aftercare plan will be required, as the use of Narcotics of any kind should be avoided. A support group can be very beneficial in dealing with life’s struggles after a client is released from treatment.
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A life free from opioid addiction is possible
Leave Opioids in the Past & Recover for Good atOur Los Angeles Opioid Treatment Center
At Starbridge Recovery, we take care to understand each client’s individual needs. We provide Detoxification and Medication-Assisted-Therapy that is often required for individuals addicted to opiates. We also help patients dig deep within themselves to uncover the root cause of their drug use. Knowing what caused them to use substances in the first place will help prevent future triggers while in recovery.
With the expert staff at our opioid treatment center in Los Angeles, you will have all the tools you need to end the cycle of addiction and find the path to lasting recovery. Contact Starbridge Recovery Center today to start on your path to freedom from opiate addiction.
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