Opioids Addiction

Opiod Addiction Hotline

NuLife Phone Number: 1 (877) 764-1620
National Crisis Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

What are opioids?

Opioids are a class of painkilling drugs that can come in many varieties. They work to relieve pain by working with the nervous system to send pain relief signals to your brain. Opioids can also be known as opiates, and the two words are used interchangeably often, but can refer to different types of substances. An opiate is a drug that comes from the opium poppy plant, and these drugs are often considered a natural derivative. An opioid is often a synthetic form of opium that is made to replicate the effects of the natural substance, like heroin. When used correctly, opioids can be a safe way to relieve pain for things like surgeries, injuries, dental work. However, both the synthetic and natural versions of the drug are highly addictive, and if mistreated, can lead to abuse, opioid addiction, opiate addiction, opiate dependence, and withdrawal. Opioid addiction happens due to the euphoric effect that occurs when injected, and this feeling can result in a user’s abuse and eventual addiction of the drug.

List of opioids

Opioids come in a variety of forms that can be prescribed by a doctor or obtained illegally. There are a variety of brand names and street names that opioids are referred to. Commonly known opioid drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine

Opioid addiction has become a national epidemic

Opioids were originally created to assist patients with pain cause from surgeries, diseases, or other procedures and ailments. But in recent years, opiate addiction has become a national epidemic and a major mental health crisis, especially in the United States where it is most prevalent. The largest percentage of drug overdose deaths comes from prescription opioids and opiate abuse. This substance abuse and opioid epidemic is so widespread that the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary issued a statement declaring a public health emergency to address the national opioid crisis. The HHS found that every day drug overdose deaths claim 140 American lives, with 116 of those deaths attributed to opioids.

Opiate addiction is a serious issue in the United States. The HHS reported that 11.5 million people misused opioids in 2016, and 2.1 million people had an opiate use disorder. They also found that 948,000 people had used heroin in 2016.

While the sad reality is that the use of prescription opioids can lead to opiate addiction, there are many ways that users can find help through treatment programs that include detox and drug rehab, including the powerful approach to opiate addiction that we provide at Nulife.

Opioid Overdose

An a heroin or opioid overdose can occur when a person has taken an opiate for the first time or has been a long time user. When a user ingests too much of a opioid, the entire body is affected and will result in overdose symptoms. The overdose will cause a user’s heart and breathing rate to slow down substantially, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain and a potential failure of other organs. Other symptoms of opioid overdose include:

  • Blue color in lips and fingernails
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Pupils look like pinpoints
  • Lack of response
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

If you, someone you know or family members are experiencing an overdose, call the National Opioid / Heroin Crisis helpline immediately: 1-800-662-4357

Opioid Effects

The short term and long term effects of opioids and heroin may differ depending on how much is ingested or abused. Initially, when taken, opioids will put the user in a euphoric, happy state. This state is achieved due to the drug’s interaction with the brain via the bloodstream, which creates a manufactured sense of satisfaction through endorphins and dopamine. However, the reason opioids are so addictive is because over time and with prolonged abuse, these false feelings of euphoria will start to become harder for your brain to create, causing a user to continually crave the drug. Establishing a tolerance to opioids is one of the main reasons why users develop a substance abuse problem.

Short term opioid effects

The short term effects of using opioids can include:

  • Euphoric feelings
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain relief
  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Appetite loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching

Long term opioid effects

The long term heroin or opioid effects are serious and can result in death. These effects include:

  • Dependence on drug
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold flashes
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • epression
  • Chronic pain
  • Hormone issues
  • Death

Opioid Withdrawal

Withdrawal from opioids or heroin can be extremely difficult, and can cause your body to experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Because the body is addicted to the drug and used to operating under its influence, adjusting to life without the use of opioids can affect your physical and mental health. However, through the detox process, there are treatments that can assist with the symptoms, including prescribed drugs like methadone, suboxone, buprenorphine. When in a treatment center, these drugs are administered by a healthcare professional who has your wellbeing in mind. It is important to seek the help from a treatment center and professionals to help you detox from opioids to help you alleviate inevitable withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms during detox include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Agitation
  • Cravings
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Fever like symptoms (sweating, chills)
  • Increased heartbeat

During detox, a person can expect to experience symptoms for anywhere from 24 hours to a week. During the first day, a person will not fill the full effects of withdrawal, but soon after the body will start to react. Although the body will be undergoing a big transition, the light at the end of the tunnel will start to get closer and closer.

Opioid Treatment

There are a variety of ways that users can seek help for an opiate addiction. Long-term recovery is possible, and rehab centers will allow an individual to detox with the guided help of a professional who can administer proper treatment and generally take care of a patient in their time of need. The treatment options available to those with an opioid dependence include:

  • Inpatient treatment: This option allows people to receive personalized 24/7 care, individual and group therapy sessions, case management, good nutrition, a family liaison, and a positive actionable way to stay sober.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient drug rehab treatment programs are substance abuse treatments where patients do not require 24 hour residential care. At this point, patients have gone through medical detox and completed the first and second phase of treatment at a residential facility.
  • Virtual treatment: This option allows for those who may not be able to make it into a facility to receive treatment at home. The NuLife Viral Treatment Program makes treatment more accessible, and eliminates the geography barrier by using leading edge technology from the comfort of your own home.

There are various types of medications that treatment centers use to assist patients who are going through detox. These medications are used to ease the symptoms and discomfort of detox and withdrawal, and help fight They include:

  • Methadone: Methadone is federally regulated, and must be carefully handled by a doctor because it can also become addictive. It is used to help ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and can help the brain start to produce its own chemicals again over time. Methadone maintenance is very important, and requires medical assistance.
  • Suboxone: Suboxone works to prevent pain when going through withdrawal from opioids or heroin, and also assists in cutting cravings.
  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is also an opioid, but it has limited effects and is in turn less likely to cause a person to become addicted. It helps to eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is also sometimes used to help users stay in recovery for prolonged periods of time.

There is Hope

There is hope. If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction or opioid addiction, call now and take back control of your life.

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