Opioids are a class of drugs that include poppy-derived opiates and lab-synthesized opioids. They all interact with the brain in the same way, though they may differ in how they are acquired and taken and their potency. The fact is, opioids have been around for millennia. Opium use for pain relief was recorded as far back as 2100 BCE. Since then, the benefits of opioids for pain management and the dangers of opioid abuse have been weighed time and again, and solutions to addiction sought.
Opioid addiction has been at peak levels since the introduction of Oxy in the 1990s, with marketing that misinformed the public about its addictiveness. Many thousands of people who were prescribed this drug for pain found they became addicted to it. This spike in prescription opioid use disorders led to increased use of other opioids readily available on the street. The good news is that opioid addiction treatment can empower you to regain your sobriety. Nashville Treatment Solutions has an opioid addiction treatment program that can help you or someone you love. Find out more by calling us at 866.714.5630 or using our online form.
Opioid Abuse and Addiction
Opioid tolerance begins when users need more and more of the drug to achieve their desired effects. As the body becomes dependent, the brain loses its ability to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine. That means the opioid user’s brain requires the drug to feel any pleasure.
Stopping feels impossible as the process is painful and cravings spike to intolerable levels. Professional rehab helps manage those symptoms.
How do you know you have an opioid use disorder (OUD)? There are physical and behavioral symptoms to be on the lookout for. Some of them are:
- Physical and mental cravings between doses
- Reduced focus, energy, libido
- Weight loss
- Chronic flu-like symptoms
- Poor self-care and hygiene
- Relationship loss
- Job loss, homelessness, and other financial trouble
- Increasingly desperate drug-seeking behavior including lying, stealing, and doctor shopping
- Withdrawal symptoms if the drug is inaccessible or withheld
If you have any of the above symptoms or know someone who shows these signs of addiction, consider opioid addiction treatment at a reputable drug rehab center near you. To learn more about the evidence-based therapies available for OUDs at Nashville Treatment Solutions, call 866.714.5630.
Commonly Abused Opioids
Some opioids are derived from the opium poppy flower, while others are manufactured in FDA-regulated labs for medical purposes. These drugs, whether prescription pain meds or opium-derived, are available on the street and are highly addictive. Some opioids have legal uses, while others are only created and used illegally.
The most commonly abused opioids are:
- Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin, Roxicodone)
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic)
Carfentanil is the most concentrated and potent of the fentanyl analogs. It is estimated to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine and is used in veterinary medicine to tranquilize large animals like elephants. Someone who acquires this drug illegally for personal use is in danger of immediate overdose or death. On the other hand, the mildest opiate is also addictive and potentially fatal. The dangers of codeine, for example, are that prescriptions for codeine cough medicine are relatively easy to acquire. Once tolerance is built up, it can lead to increased use, dependence, addiction, and the use of other, stronger drugs.
It does not matter what the access point is to opioid abuse. Any opioid, from codeine to carfentanil, is dangerous and addictive. If you or someone you love is abusing opioids, take action.
Break Free of Your Opioid Addiction at Nashville Treatment Solutions
Are you concerned about your abuse of opioids? A conversation with a highly trained, caring clinician about your situation could help you find answers and understand your recovery options. The journey back to sobriety is a challenging one, but you do not have to do it alone. Let Nashville Treatment Solutions help you with our many evidence-based treatments, including behavioral therapies, medication-managed treatment, holistic and experiential therapies, and more.
Take the first step. Call 866.714.5630 today or fill out our online form.