Rehab for Opioid Addiction
Opioids, such as heroin, prescription opioids— oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine— and illegal synthetic opioids like fentanyl, are highly addictive drugs. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain, affecting basic physiological functioning such as heart rate, sleeping, and breathing and they create an artificial sensation of pleasure. Because of their addictive nature and an individual’s tendency to develop a physical dependence on opioids, it is almost always advised to attend rehab for opioid addiction.
Opioid Use Disorder is usually quite severe due to the short length of time in which a physical dependence to opioids becomes prominent. Opioids such as prescription pills with hydrocodone are highly addictive, and opioid dependence has become an epidemic in the United States. About 2 million Americans abuse opioids and 40,000 will die this year from opioid overdose.
Signs of an opioid problem may include:
- “Doctor shopping” for multiple opioid prescriptions.
- Snorting, smoking or injecting pills to increase effects.
- Planning activities around opioid use.
- Engaging in other high-risk behaviors.
- Loss of interest in activities.
- Continuing to use opioids despite negative effects.
- Problems at work, school, or in relationships due to your opioid use.
- Withdrawal symptoms like restless legs or restlessness, hot and cold flashes, goosebumps, nausea, diarrhea, cold sweats, irritability, bodyaches, etc.
- Intense cravings for opioids.
How Do People Become Addicted to Opioids?
Opioids are more than capable of making your mind, brain and body trust that opioids are essential for survival. The best way to avoid opioid addiction is to consult with a medical doctor who has prior addiction education before seeking the assistance of a medical specialist. We recommend consulting a doctor who has experience and knowledge in addiction medicine and addiction science because doctors who do not have this knowledge will often prescribe opioids instead of non-narcotic alternatives and major lifestyle changes.
Risk Factors for Opioid Addiction:
- Following directions given in a legal prescription for opioids
- Not following directions given in a legal prescription for opioids
- History of chronic and recurring pain
- Prior substance abuse including overeating oxidized foods, nicotine abuse and alcohol abuse
- History of mental illness
- History of physical trauma
- History of emotional trauma
- Family history of substance abuse
- Family history of moodiness or compulsive worry, anger or hate
- Early exposure to substance abuse
- Lack of education around the effect and side effects of opioids
Although these risk factors can be pre-cursors to an addiction to opioids or opiates, these factors are not definitive to opioid addiction. Many people can identify with these risk factors but do not have an opioid addiction, alternatively, many people with an opioid addiction may not identify themselves in these risk factors.
Underlying Symptoms of Opioid Dependence:
It is common that opioid dependence occurs with a prompt of pre-existing conditions such as: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other substance use disorders, depressive disorders. bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders.
Other prompts include:
- Genetics: Opioid addiction does not specifically run in families, although it infrequently has.
- A genetic and familial predisposition does in fact exist for solving emotional and physical pain with substances outside the body rather than channeling internal emotional and physical pain relieving electro-biochemicals.
- Emotional and physical pain are inseparable and the accompanying emotional pain tends to be more chronically tortuous than physical pain.
- A genetic of familial predisposition to any drug addiction or behavioral addiction increases one’s risk to developing opioid dependence.
- Environmental: Opioid availability via street vendors, friends, relatives or an abundance of prescribers untrained and inexperienced in addictions regularly contribute to opioid addiction, as do:
- Family stressors.
- Occupational stressors.
- Financial stressors.
- Legal stressors.
- Neuropsychiatric: Individuals do not choose opioid addiction, instead they choose:
- To allow negative-self talk and self-doubt to thrive in the form of ruminating thoughts and a detrimental self-image.
- To permit angry, discontented people to disrupt our serenity.
- To obsessively worry about tomorrow.
- To cope with emotions and feelings in an unhealthy way.
“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” (The Big Book of AA).
Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction
Opioid abuse is overwhelmingly devastating to our country, especially in the midst of the current opioid crisis. Opioid abuse is beyond the abuse of any other drugs in terms of its reach. The U.S. opioid crisis is a major problem, with 115 Americans dying of opioid overdose each day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Opioid overdose rates have been increasing for years, and in 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from overdose (NIDA).
In the last year, 2.5 million Americans aged 18-25 have misused opioids, and in 2016, the same number reported misusing an opioid (NIDA). As some of the most potent, habit-forming narcotics, opioids have serious side effects when abused.
If you are unsure whether you or a loved one is struggling with opioid abuse, we have included some warning signs for you to reference in order to get a clearer understanding if you are dealing with an opioid addiction or possibly need an opioid addiction rehab.
Warning Signs of Opioid Abuse Include:
- Associating with new groups of people
- Changing friends
- Spending time alone
- Avoiding family
- Avoiding friends
- Decreased interest in pleasurable activities
- Inconsistent bathing patterns
- Less attentive to appearance
- Poor oral hygiene
- Binge eating or barely eating
- Logorrheic or hyper-talkative
- Misplaced anger resulting in seemingly illogical disputes
- Rapid cycling mood changes
- Sleeping at strange times
- Missing appointments
- Involvement with the law
- Keeping an erratic schedule
- Financial problems
- Pattern of absence at family functions or other obligations