What are opioids?
Opioids are opiates that work on the nervous system to relieve pain. Opioid use disorder is a condition where people take opiods for reasons other than their intended purpose, and may suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking them. The opioid epidemic has led to an increase in opioid related deaths across the United States and Canada, with more than 400,000 people dying of opioid-related overdoses between 1999 and 2015. This blog post will discuss opioid use disorder symptoms and preventions.
Opioids work by blocking the pain-conducting chemical receptors in the brain. They can, however, cause drowsiness, mental confusion, euphoria, nausea, and constipation. Regular opioids use causes the body to adjust by increasing opioid receptors, which can lead to opioid tolerance. This means that they need more of the drug in order to achieve the same effect as before. In time this also leads users down a dark path where opioids become an addiction and is one of the reasons for relapse.
Opioid Use Disorder Symptoms
Opioids are highly addictive substances and opioid use disorder happens when this substance becomes more of a necessity than it already is, or if the opioid user seeks out opioid drugs instead of avoiding them like they used to do before becoming addicted. Opioid users might lose interest in activities previously enjoyed, become irritable, or experience other withdrawal symptoms when they are not using opioids. Opioids might also be used in higher amounts than before quitting the drug to achieve the same effect that was once reached with smaller doses.
Opioid use disorder has both behavioural and physical characteristics which may include:
-Craving for opioids
-Diarrhea or constipation
-Insomnia or sleepiness
-Loss of sex drive
-Decreased breathing rate and other heart issues. This could lead ultimately to death due to overdose if left untreated for too long.
Treatment for opioid use disorder
The most common treatment for opioid use disorder is a combination of medication and counselling. Medication such as methadone reduces the intensity of withdrawal symptoms while counselling takes place to help patients deal with their addiction. It’s important that these treatments be provided by an experienced professional in order to avoid potential problems during recovery from opioid use disorder, which could include opioid overdose or death.
Opioid use disorder can be prevented by avoiding opioids in the first place, and abstaining from them if you currently take opioids medically prescribed for pain relief purposes. If an attempt to stop taking opioids is unsuccessful it’s important that a medical professional assists with the recovery process through medication treatment and counselling sessions.
Prevention is the best medicine in terms of opioid use disorder, so always consult with your doctor about any concerns you may have when using opioids.
The best opioids prevention includes:
Avoiding opioids entirely.
-Taking medications prescribed for pain relief purposes only as needed and exactly according to their prescription
-Seeking treatment from an experienced medical professional if you find yourself unable to stop taking opioids
-Seeking counselling in order to address any mental health issues that may be the cause of your opioid use disorder.
-Forgoing opioids if you are trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding
-Avoiding sharing needles with other people which could expose them to blood borne illnesses like hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, and protect yourself from becoming infected by these diseases as well.
The three FDA-approved opioid addiction medications are often utilized:
Methadone – It minimizes cravings and alleviates opioid withdrawal symptoms in users dependent on the drugs.
-Naltrexone – It reduces cravings and blocks opioid receptors in a person’s brain, preventing them from feeling the effects of opioids.
-Buprenorphine is a partial agonist that attaches to the same receptors as heroin or other opioids, but does not produce an intense effect if someone relapses while taking it.
Opioids are opiates that work on the nervous system to relieve pain. It is now well-known that opioid use disorder (OUD) is a condition where people take opioids for reasons other than their intended purpose, and may suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking them. If you or someone close to you needs help with OUD, contact our doctors today! We can provide therapy and medication management programs for both men and women who want to break free of addiction once and for all. Conduct our doctors if you need help with OUD – we’re here 24/7!