Opioid Painkiller Addiction
Opioid addiction and abuse is a global epidemic. Opioids are a medication type that is often used to mange pain. Opioid, also known as opiates, produce a short-lived euphoria, but can also be addictive. Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and related prescription drugs. Those using or abusing opioids may seek opioid addiction treatment.
Morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to alleviate severe pain. Hydrocodone or Oxycodone are products that will often be prescribed to patients for a variety of painful conditions, such as dental surgery or injury-related pain. Codeine is a drug that is often prescribed for mild pain.
According to drugabuse.gov, it is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. An estimated 2.1 million people in the United States are estimated to be suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 with an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.
How does one become addicted to opioids?
Long-term use changes the way nerve cells work in the brain. Even those taking opioids for a long period of time as prescribed by a doctor can experience this change. The nerve cells become used to having opioids around, when taken away suddenly, the person can experience a number of unpleasant feelings and reactions, also known as withdrawal symptoms. When narcotics are used only to control pain, it is unlikely that they will become addicted to the drugs. They are also powerful anxiety relievers. Opioids are currently among the most abused types of substances available.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in 2014 467,000 adolescents 12 to 17 years old were current nonmedical users of pain reliever, with 168,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers. It is also reported that women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men.
Some signs and symptoms of narcotics abuse include:
- Small pupils
- Slurred speech
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Shallow breathing or slowed breathing
- Increased pain tolerance
- Flushed skin or itching
Read our article – Am I Addicted to Painkillers?
How is Opioid Abuse Treated?
Opioid addiction and abuse is treated with medication and behavioral therapy. The staff at A New Start, Inc. includes medical directors and coordinators to assist patients with the management of medications during while seeking treatment at our intensive outpatient program.
Additional information and case studies regarding opioid abuse and addiction can be found on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.
A New Start, Inc. is an intensive outpatient program in West Palm Beach offering support and guidance for those looking for opioid abuse treatment West Palm Beach. Our dedicated staff provides therapy services and a support system throughout the treatment process. To learn more about our outpatient drug rehab treatment center, please call 1-844-TALK-ANS.