Opioid addiction is common among people who get a prescription for the drug. Usually, this drug is taken to soothe and reduce body pain. When taken, it takes the edge off, reducing the feeling of pain and helping you relax. Therefore, it’s not surprising that some people use it for non-medical reasons.
Even when they are prescribed, opioids have every tendency to lead to addiction. The length of time you use it is usually a factor that decides whether or not you’ll become addicted to it. Even worse, as a result of how it works, it’s unlikely you’ll notice you’re abusing it.
While opioids can help you manage pain, you’re at risk of being dependent on it. Hence, you must know the dangers of taking them. This will easily let you know if you’re struggling with addiction.
We are sure it’s likely you have asked questions like, “why don’t doctors stop prescribing opioids?” With this blog, we will show you why although opioid addiction is a crisis in Canada, they are still a necessary evil.
What are Opioids?
They are painkillers that are naturally present in the opium poppy plant. Sometimes, they’re produced by using the chemical structure of the plant. The good side of opioids is they are fast in soothing acute pains.
When this medicine goes through your blood, its receptors bind to your brain cells. Therefore, stifling your awareness of pain and boosting your feeling of pleasure. At a lower dose, they will also make you sleepy.
Related Article: Things To Know About Quitting Opiods
Types of Opioids
Several kinds of substances lead to opioid addiction. However, they vary in their time of action, effect, and method of intake. Of them all, heroin is the most dangerous, and it’s never prescribed as a medicine. Here are the types of opioids that are used to treat discomfort.
This is the most potent opioid. Once you take it, you’ll instantly feel relieved. Plus, the effects only wear off after a while. It’s mainly injected by a doctor at a clinic or hospital.
Fentanyl is mostly available in candy-like form, and it often acts as a short pain reliever. Its effects commonly last for two hours. Since you often need to use it for results, it’s likely to cause addiction. Also, it has a long-acting form that can last up to 72 hours.
Codeine is a popular pain drug that’s taken orally. After you use a dose, it lasts for a few hours. It’s used to treat mild discomfort. It works better when dispensed with paracetamol. However, some doctors prefer to combine it with aspirin or ibuprofen.
This analgesic can either function as a short-acting and long-acting pain medicine. it’s sold under the brand name of Percocet and OxyContin. For best results, it can be used with aspirin. It’s available in liquid, capsule and tablet form.
Other kinds of opioids include:
The Medical Benefits of Opioids: Why They Are Necessary
With the debate surrounding opioid addiction, you may wonder why they’re still in use. Well, these drugs are very instrumental in soothing pain. Aside from this, they perform other functions in the body. They’re also used to treat cough, flu and diarrhea.
It offers a haven for people who continually have pains. When compared, the benefit of opioids certainly outweighs the risks. In a situation where you are experiencing acute pain, no other class of drugs will give you fast relief like opioids.
Causes of Opioids Addiction: The Contributing Risk Factors
What leads to opioid addiction? You may ask. The factors that cause its abuse are complex. It may be due to your gene, environment and lifestyle. Moreover, it can also be a result of the way the medication functions.
Opioids and drug tolerance are a synonymous concept. This means over time, you’ll require a frequent or higher dose to achieve the desired effect. Other risk factors that may lead to a need for opioid addiction treatment include:
Variation in genes
The variation in our genes is a vital risk factor for opioid addiction. While some genes serve as neurotransmitters in the body, others assist in controlling the growth of neurons. Now, your body system has “opioids” that control pain and addictive behaviours. While the external opioids function to activate the several receptors in your body.
When both opioids bind, they halt pain signals from the body to the brain. Plus, they release a large amount of dopamine. This release will strongly reinforce your act of using the pill. Ultimately, it’ll prompt you to repeat the experience.
Method of use
You’ll be at risk of abuse when you use more than your prescription. Why doctors prescribe opioids shouldn’t be a budding question. These experts have already specified how they should be used.
So if you take opioids outside of a specified prescription, you’ll be putting your health at risk. For instance, some people grind the pills to inhale or dissolve them in water. Others go further by injecting them into their veins.
Length of time
How opioids lead to addiction majorly depends on the duration you use them. This is another risk factor for its abuse. By taking them for an extended period, the chances are higher that you’ll form a dependence on them. Therefore, the absence of it will cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Multiple factors play a role in addiction to this drug. Once you’ve experienced the pleasure it gives, several things can cause you to misuse it. Some other known risks that contribute to its addiction include:
- Severe anxiety and depression
- Work stress
- Family history of drug abuse
- Living with high-risk individuals or environments
- Financial problems
- Sensation-seeking behaviour
- Involvement in criminal activities
- Child abuse
- Easy access to illegal opioids
- Mental disorder
Besides, women are more liable to get addicted to opioids. Discomforts like menstrual, back and muscle discomforts take a while to be treated. Hence, they’ll be administered higher doses for a longer time. No doubt, this can lead to drug dependence, which may later result in addiction.
How to Treat Opioid Addiction
There are various treatments you can receive for opioid addiction. You can get better with behavioural therapies and medications. Methadone and buprenorphine are also very useful in helping you recover.
When you use these drugs, they’ll automatically reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Another drug that’s effective is naltrexone. It blocks your opioid receptors and stops opioids from exerting an effect on you.
Behavioural therapies will enable you to rectify your attitude toward drugs. Besides, it’ll improve your lifestyle and assist with your medication treatment.
Examples of behavioural therapies include:
- Multidimensional family therapy: This approach is mainly for young adults and adolescents with addiction. It’s designed to address the personal and family influences on your drug use.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy: This helps you to change the way you take opioids. Plus, it enables you to manage your stress and triggers
For full recovery, it’s better to combine therapy sessions with medication for opioid addiction.
Related Article: Addiction Recovery: What It Is and What To Expect
The Verdict on Opioid Addiction
Even with the tendency for addiction, there are several reasons why opioids are necessary. The vital thing is you know the risks linked to this drug. This way, you can take the necessary precautions when using this pill.
However, if you’re dealing with opioid addiction, it’s not the end of the road. There are treatment options that can help you kick the habit. Here at Inspire Change Wellness Centre, we can help devise a custom treatment plan to get rid of opioid addiction. Speak to any of our friendly counsellors today!