Opioid addiction is an epidemic in America and millions of people are plagued with the devastating consequences that follow opioid use. Although opioids are prescribed legally to some people, they can be dangerous – especially when abused.
Consequences of Opioid Use
About Opioid Use and Abuse
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, twelve million Americans used prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010. In addition, two million people used prescription painkillers illegally for the first time in 2010, which means that there are 5,500 people every day abusing prescription painkillers for the first time.
Opioids are synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of opiates like morphine and codeine. Opioids include prescription painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin; heroin is also an opioid drug because it is manmade, even though it turns into morphine in a person’s body.
Many people begin to use opioids recreationally because they like the feelings they have when high on the drug. Opioids are pain relievers and sedatives, and when they are taken in high doses they cause a euphoria to form in a person’s body making them feel warm and pleasurable. However, the misuse of opioid drugs is dangerous, and thousands of people overdose on the drugs every year.
The Consequences of Opioid Use
There are numerous negative consequences that stem from opioid abuse because opioids will not only negatively affect a person physically, but they will also affect a person behaviorally and mentally.
According to MedScape, People who have opioid use disorders will frequently relapse. Symptoms of opioid abuse vary according to mount of opioids a person has in their body. For mild to moderate intoxication, symptoms include drowsiness, slurred speech, and pupillary constriction. For severe overdose, patients commonly experience coma, stupor and respiratory depression. A severe overdose can be fatal.
If a person continues to use opioids they may develop an addiction to the drug, and if they continue to use opioids for long periods of time, their body will build a dependency to the drug, resulting in them going through withdrawal symptoms every time the drug is not in their body. Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning that once a person has an addiction, they will battle it for the rest of their life. When people develop an addiction to opioids they will most likely need professional treatment in order for them to learn to manage their addiction.
Prolonged use of opioids can lead to person causing permanent damage to their organs, and it can lead to chemical imbalances in their brain, all of which can be extremely stressful for a person to go through. People who have developed an addiction to opioids should seek out help from an opioid addiction treatment program.
For more information on opioid abuse, or for help finding a treatment program, call (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?).