Opioid Use Disorder
Opioids (synthetic) and opiates (naturally-derived) chemicals interface with nerve-receptors in the brain to reduce an awareness of pain and which induce euphoria by releasing endorphins and dopamine. This physiological process positively reinforces continued use and leads physical dependence to opioids that can occur in as little as a few weeks of use. The longer one uses these types of substances the more it can lead to Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and lifelong addiction. Additionally, due to severe withdrawal symptoms many people with chemical dependency maintain patterns of use despite consequences that are negative or even severe. A opiate rehab remains one of the most effective support mechanisms to help individuals overcome their addiction.
Despite these reactions, opioids are still prescribed in abundance to treat a vast array of health conditions by medical providers for pain management purposes. According to the SAMHSA, up to 19% of those prescribed opiates develop addiction. Furthermore, almost half of all heroin users attribute their start of addiction to prescribed pain medicines.
Moreover, in 2017 the opioid epidemic was declared a public health emergency, and we’ve seen it only get worse as time has passed. The CDC says the number of deaths due to drug overdose has quadrupled since 2019 with 70% of the 70,630 deaths in 2019 were opioid-involved. Whether natural or synthetic, legally prescribed or illicitly obtained, the impact of opioids have impacted every niche of society.
Furthermore, the more recent uptick in the spread of Fentanyl and Carfentanil is increasing the rate of mortality among opioid-users. It is being illegally manufactured and widely-distributed in synthetic street drugs. These drugs have increased overdoses and is now the most prevalent synthetic opioid threat to the United States.
If you are having issues with opioid-use it’s time to get help.
Here is a list of commonly abused opioids and opiates:
Morphine (Kadian, Morphabond, MS Contin) and it’s derivative Heroin
Oxycodone (with or without acetaminophen or naloxone, Oxycontin, Roxicet, Percocet, Oxaydo)
Hydrocodone (with or without acetaminophen, Vicodin, Norco ER, Lortab, Hysingla, Lorcet)
Fentanyl (Fentora, Actiqu, Duragesic, Abstral)
Symptoms of Opiate Use Disorder may look like:
Inability or unwillingness to stop use
Cravings, reckless spending (or stealing) to support habit, secrecy about use
Increased: agitation, irritability, mood swings, nodding off, inappropriate sleepiness, isolation
Lack of motivation in people/activities unrelated to use, Depression, loss of relationships
Risky behavior: includes use of opioids in hazardous scenarios (i.e. driving, caring for children) or doing dangerous things in order to attain more of the substance
Itching or scratching, pinpoint-size pupils (even when in low light), slow or shallow breathing, flushed skin, needle marks on veins
If you or someone you care about is struggling with symptoms of opioid use disorder, consider making a treatment plan with a professional support sooner rather than later. Contact us for assessment so we can provide an appropriate level of treatment to mitigate symptoms of withdrawal and to set you up to be successful in your recovery.