Across the world, opioid addiction is becoming a more and more alarming topic of conversation. In places such as the UK and the USA, figures relating to the number of people dying per year from opioid addiction, as well as the numbers of people who have been affected by opioid misuse and addiction, show incredibly worrying trends.
- Misuse of prescribed opioids can, and frequently does, lead to addiction, and can take an incredible toll on people and their families, even frequently leading to overdose and death. And, while opioids can be used to provide important help to those suffering from terrible chronic pain, those going through end-of-life care, and people who are suffering from cancer, the side effects of prescription drug abuse can be disastrous — and likely affect more people than you think!
What Are Opioids, And Why Are They Prescribed?
Opioids are a class of drug that is derived from the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. Medicinal opioids are prescribed as they can relax the human body and alleviate strong sensations of pain, they are also so strong that they can cause people to feel “high.”
Some of the most common examples of prescription opioids are Oxycontin, Vicodin, morphine, codeine, and fentanyl. Opioids have the potential to be incredibly addictive, and when misused can lead to overdoses and death.
They are often prescribed as painkillers for patients who may be suffering from severe chronic pain, perhaps following an operation. They also play an important part in end-of-life care and cancer treatment. Although, despite this, there has been an inexplicable and worrying increase in opioid prescription in both the UK and the USA in recent years.
Things To Beware Of In Regards To Opioid Misuse
If you believe that you, or someone you love, maybe abusing opioid medication, then there are some side effects and behavioural patterns that you may want to look out for. For instance, a person experiencing prescription drug abuse may be using the prescribed drug in a manner or amount different to that which has been prescribed to them.
Furthermore, if they are using someone else’s prescribed opioids or deliberately using them to get high and not for pain-relief then they may have an opioid drug addiction.
Physical side effects of opioids on the human body can be varied, including fatigue, confusion, nausea, euphoria, and even constipation. Furthermore, the extreme side effects of opioid substance abuse can be hypoxia — by which not enough oxygen gets to your brain. Hypoxia can cause comas, brain damage, and death.
Tolerance, Dependence, Or Addiction? The Difference Matters!
If you have been using opioids for a long period of time, whether following the advice of a doctor or otherwise, this can lead to you developing a higher tolerance for the drug that you have been taking. What happens as a result is that your body will require more, or stronger doses, of the opioid to feel the effects. While this might not mean that you are addicted, it is something that you should be aware of and keep a careful eye out for!
Dependence on a drug can occur when the neurons in your brain become accustomed to the presence of the drug and ultimately only function as they are meant to when the drug is in your system. This can occur after prolonged exposure to a substance and can mean that when you stop taking the drug that your body experiences a variety of symptoms and illnesses — some of which may be life-threatening.
Once your body is dependent on a drug, you may need medical assistance to withdraw from the substance. By contacting Rehab Clinics Group, we can advise on methods of withdrawal and even provide medical support.
When you are fully addicted to a drug, you will experience chronic compulsive and uncontrollable urges to feed your addiction. The long-lasting damage to your body, mental state, and relationships with others can become secondary to the need to feed your addiction. However, no matter how alone and hopeless things feel, Rehab Clinics Group can help you, or someone you care about, out of this dark period in your/their life with our therapy options available.
Together We Can Beat Opioid Addiction
Many areas of the world are facing opioid crises. According to the U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services, 130+ people die every day from opioid-related overdoses and an estimated 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018 alone.
Fears that the UK is also facing an opioid crisis of its own are far from unfounded as well, as Sky News reported in 2019 that opiate prescription in the UK was up to “40.5 million” opiates prescribed yearly, which was “22% more [than] a decade earlier.”
And sadly, as opioids become progressively more over-prescribed, odds are increasingly likely that you or someone you know will suffer from opioid addiction. Opioid misuse is a systemic issue across the world, but right now you can make a difference in your own life if you are experiencing opioid addiction and let Rehabs Clinic Group help you get on your way to a better life.
Our Therapy Options Can Help
Overcoming opioid addiction is not easy, however, with help you can overcome your addiction and start living a healthier life free from opioids. With our private rehabs and behavioural therapies, we can help make the daunting task of relinquishing opioids’ grasp on your life much more attainable a goal.
Regardless of whether you have been suffering from your addiction for a long or short amount of time, and no matter what the specifics of your addiction are, we will be able to find a treatment plan for you, one which treats both your body and mind, with the aim of providing you with a long-lasting healthy approach to life.
Opioid addiction is very real and can be incredibly damaging. Don’t risk the potentially life-threatening health ramifications of prescription drug abuse, contact us today via our website, or call 0800 470 0382. Alternatively, text HELP to 83222 for assistance from a member of our team.