Learning about opioid addiction and treatment is one of the first steps to recovery because it can help you determine if you or a loved one has an opioid problem and if treatment is necessary. Not only can opioid users become addicted to the drug, but they can also end up transitioning to harder drugs like heroin when their pain prescription runs out. We’ll explain what you need to know about this growing issue and how to get opioid addiction help in Palm Beach, FL.
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What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and legally prescribed painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and others. Opioids lower the number of pain signals your body sends to your brain which is why they’re so effective for pain relief, but the artificial endorphins can alter how your brain responds to pain. Taking opioid pain relievers for a short duration and according to the doctor’s prescription dosage is generally considered safe, but the high and pain relief make users susceptible to misuse. Furthermore, regular use can lead to dependence, addiction, overdose, and death.
What causes opioid addiction?
Since opioids create artificial endorphins to block pain signals, over time, they alter your brain’s chemistry. Besides pain relief, endorphins also feel good. Using opioids too much, however, can cause your brain to become reliant on the artificial endorphins, even stopping your brain from producing its own. Additionally, you’ll likely develop a tolerance to opioids over time thereby requiring more to achieve the same effect.
How do I know if I’m addicted to an opioid?
While there are a variety of physical signs of opioid use – contracted eye pupils, loss of appetite, excessive sleeping, vomiting, coughing, sweating, twitches, and sniffling – the signs of addiction can be a little less obvious since addiction doesn’t just happen overnight.
Some signs of opioid addiction to look out for are:
- Increasing tolerance
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Loss of control
- Loss of interests
- Relationship problems
- Health problems
- Legal problems
- Poor work or school performance
If you suspect that you have an opioid addiction, check with a doctor or medical health professional to get a medical assessment. They’ll also test you for other mental health disorders which are called ‘co-occurring disorders.’ A co-occurring disorder is when an individual has a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Can opioid addiction be prevented?
It’s completely possible to use opioids safely without developing an addiction, but there’s a high potential for addiction, especially when used for long-term pain management. Your chances of developing a dependency or addiction are lower if you use opioid drugs for less than a week, but using them longer than a month can create a dependency. You don’t have to wait until you have a full-blown addiction to benefit from an opioid treatment program. In fact, it’s better to get treatment sooner rather than later to reduce your chances of overdosing and death because you’ll have opioid treatment professionals to guide and support you.
Do you offer medications for treating opioid addiction?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, along with counseling and therapy, to treat opioid addiction and prevent overdose. Although MAT is a controversial treatment practice, Vivitrol is widely used and accepted. It’s a non-addictive, monthly shot that is used to prevent an opioid relapse after detox and treat opioid dependence. Vivitrol is the only MAT we offer at Rally Point – learn more about using Vivitrol for opioid addiction in our blog article.
Opioid Addiction Treatment in Palm Beach, FL
If you have an opioid problem, we can help. We’re an opioid treatment center in Palm Beach, FL that offers personalized programs in a non-judgmental, compassionate atmosphere to achieve long-term opioid recovery. Being located in South Florida, we’re also able to offer more unique therapeutic activities that incorporate our local wildlife like fishing, adventure therapy, yoga, meditation, painting, and more. Call us at (888) 797-2259 or take our online assessment to begin your recovery from opioid addiction!