With powerful opioid pain relievers being over-prescribed, the opioid epidemic began in the 1990s. It did not take long for opioids to become the most prescribed class of medications in the country. They overtook heart medication and antibiotics. When the 1990s were coming to an end, pharmaceutical companies attempted to reassure the medical community that prescription opioid pain relievers were no longer as addictive as before. However, that was far from the truth. Between 20 and 30 percent of patients, who were prescribed opioids for chronic pain management, still misused them. As you can see, opioid use disorder is a very serious problem. To overcome opioid addiction in Phoenix, Arizona, you must first know how the drug works and how it affects its users.
Understanding the Nature of Addiction
Addiction is complex in nature. It can affect brain functioning in a multitude of ways. Some individuals are able to use medications responsibly. Others are much more vulnerable to dependence and addiction. Studies have shown that there are basic factors that may increase one’s likelihood of developing a drug addiction.
- Drug usage starts from a relatively young age
- Struggling with mental health issues, e.g. depression
- Gone through a neglectful or abusive childhood
- One or more family members who have struggled with a similar addiction
What are Opioids?
Opioids are comprised of a broad range of pain-relieving drugs. These drugs work by interacting with your cells’ opioid receptors. Next, opioid medications can be made from the poppy plant. Some examples include Ms Contin, Kadian, and more. Alternatively, they can be synthesized in a laboratory. The most common synthetic opioids include Duragesic, Actiq, etc.
When an individual takes an opioid medication, the drug travels through his or her blood. It then attaches to the opioid receptors in their brain cells. It instructs the cells to release signals that muffle your ability to perceive pain. Additionally, it heightens feelings of pleasure.
If you come across any of the following opioids, you should keep in mind that they are extremely addictive.
Identifying the Signs of Opioid Addiction
How do you know if you or a loved one has an opioid addiction? Try asking the individual (or yourself) the following questions. If you answer yes to more than three questions, you need to seek help without delay.
- Am I always failing to reduce my opioid use?
- Am I constantly thinking about getting and using more opioids?
- Have I been neglecting school/work because of my drug use?
- Have I been experiencing negative health effects that are associated with opioid abuse?
- Do I exceed the doctor’s prescribed amount when taking my medication (i.e. opioids)?
- Do I start experiencing withdrawal symptoms soon after stopping opioid use?
- Has my opioid tolerance increased over time?
Opioid Addiction is Dangerous
Opioids in high doses can cause death, from respiratory arrest to cardiac arrest. It is important to note that the tolerance to opioids’ euphoric effects tend to develop faster than one’s tolerance to the drugs’ dangerous effects. This is one of the biggest reasons why people overdose by mistake. They attempt to achieve a higher high without realizing that they are taking too much.
Humans can reverse opioid overdose via intravenous naltrexone. That is why it is so important to contact emergency medical services immediately if you feel you or a loved one is on the brink of an overdose.
Call Our Opioid Addiction Hotline in Phoenix, Arizona Today
Remember, you should not feel ashamed of yourself. All kinds of people can struggle with addiction at any point in life. Just know that you have the strength inside to get you or a loved one on the road to recovery. Firstly, you will need to admit to yourself that you are struggling with an addiction. Secondly, you can call our Phoenix addiction hotline at (480) 401-5895 for professional help. Our counselors will tell you about everything you need to know about opioid addiction treatment and recovery in Phoenix, Arizona.