Opioids include prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone and Vicodin; as well as synthetic opioids such fentanyl and heroin. Prescription opioids can be prescribed for moderate to severe pain. They are commonly prescribed after surgery, injury, or for chronic pain conditions such as cancer.
Prescription opioids can be very helpful in pain management, but there are also some downsides. Because they are easy to obtain, easily prescribed and addictive, they are one of the most popular drugs in the United States.
Opioids have two major advantages: they are very effective in controlling pain and they are relatively inexpensive. Although prescription opioids may relieve pain and induce relaxation, they can also cause side effects such as the following:
Hypoxia can cause both short-term and long-term neurological and psychological effects, including coma, permanent brain injury, and even death. These side effects are not the only ones that can be caused by prescription opioid misuse.
Prescription opioid users who have used them for a long time could develop a heightened physiological condition that makes them physically dependent. When the user experiences withdrawal symptoms from opioids, it is known as dependence.
To avoid withdrawal discomfort, the user will need to gradually stop using opioids.
Prescription opioid addiction is one of the most well-known side effects. It’s easy to get addicted and not realize it. Addiction can be a serious illness, and it can also result from repeated use of drugs, much like dependence. A substance use disorder is a condition where a person can’t stop using drugs despite the negative effects on their health, finances, relationships, and health. Opioid addiction can be described as an obsession with using the drug, even if it is not necessary for medical reasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as high as one in four patients who receive long-term opioid treatment struggle with opioid addiction.
The brain releases dopamine, which causes pleasure and reinforces the behaviour. Opiates are known to cause this cascade.
Overdosing with opioids is a leading cause of death in the United States. Overdoses of opioids caused the deaths of more than 70,000 Americans in 2017. Nearly 68% were due to prescription opioids or illicit opioids. There were 47,600 opioid overdoses.
Call 911 immediately if you suspect that someone has overdosed. You can get medical attention, which may save your life. If administered immediately, naloxone can be administered by medical personnel to treat opioid overdoses.
Side effects of opiates can be increased by using them in unconventional ways. For example, the body is not designed to handle a lot of powder in the bloodstream. However, prescription opioid abusers can grind pills, add water or alcohol to them, and inject them. This can cause heart problems such as long-term heart infections and pulmonary embolisms. Unsterile needle techniques and intravenous opioid use can lead to a variety of chronic infections such as HIV.
Withdrawing from opioids can be very uncomfortable. These withdrawal symptoms can include:
Supervised detox is often a key component of successful treatment. This allows for maximum comfort and safety and reduces the chance of opiate relapse. Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is one way to ease withdrawal. It includes counseling and medication. Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are all medications that can be used to treat opioid disorders. Patients should not only take medication but also attend therapy sessions and counseling to address the root causes of their drug abuse.
People can change their attitude and behavior in relation to prescription opioid misuse, which can lead them to improve their life skills and continue treatment with medication.