Understanding the Signs of Opioid Addiction

Opioids describe a specific class of narcotic drugs often used for pain management. Illegal forms of this drug include heroin, and common prescription forms include: 

While opioids can provide powerful results as a pain management tool, both legal and illegal opioids can be highly addictive. In fact, approximately 21-29% of men and women misuse opioid medications prescribed for chronic pain. And, an estimated 80% of illicit heroin users first used prescription opioids.

As experts in pain management and addiction treatment, our team at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers can help with opioid addiction while keeping acute and chronic pain under control. Here are a few signs that could indicate an opioid addiction.

What makes opioids addictive

Opioid addiction affects people of all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, race, or income. That’s because opioids cause specific changes in your brain and body that impact your ability to take them in safe ways.

Your brain

When you take an opioid, your brain releases endorphins. These neurotransmitters make you feel good by boosting your sensation of pleasure and creating a powerful sense of well-being. They also dull any perceptions you may have of pain.

Your body

The longer you take opioids, the fewer endorphins your body makes. When this occurs, you no longer experience the same surge of pleasure when taking the drug — you’ve built up a “tolerance” to its effects. And if you have a tolerance, you need to take more to feel good, creating an addiction.

These changes also make it difficult to stop using opioids, because you can develop a wide range of severe side effects if you stop taking them suddenly.

The signs of opioid use disorder

Sometimes it's hard to spot opioid addiction. However, there are often signs present that indicate a problem, such as:

Unfortunately, without treatment, opioid addiction can become life-threatening, even with legally prescribed medications.

Treating opioid addiction

Our team specializes in substance abuse treatment, including abuse involving opioids. We’ve built our holistic approach on a strong foundation that involves trust, open communication, and medication to manage withdrawal symptoms every step of the way.

After your initial consultation, we work closely with you to design a personalized treatment strategy to help you gradually reduce the use of your drug, so you can resume a healthy and productive life without needing to use — and abuse — that drug. And, with our innovative approaches to acute and chronic pain management, we can safely manage your symptoms without the risk of further opioid dependency.

If you have questions about opioid addiction, we can help. Contact one of our convenient locations in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Osage Beach and Springfield, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Galena, Kansas by calling today.

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