What Should We Understand About Opioids?

Knowing the Truth About Prescription Medication

The class of drugs called Opioids is derived from the poppy plant which naturally carries opium. Opium is a very addictive drug and is often used as a prescription narcotic in certain medications as an analgesic. Heroin and Fentanyl are two main opioids, as well as morphine and codeine, that are contributing to the drug epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Sadly, the drug epidemic is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each and every year across the nation as a result of drug abuse, overdose, and a result of the over-prescribing of prescription medication.

There are three different classes of opioids:

  • Natural opioids such as Codeine and Morphine
  • Semi-synthetic opioids such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone
  • Other opioids including lab-made ones such as Methadone and Fentanyl which are made to mimic natural opioids 

Opioids work by acting on our main nervous system which is where we feel pain and pleasure. Opioids can be very effective in relieving pain that is associated with extreme injury or surgery. Unfortunately, too many individuals abuse these strong medications even after their injury and surgery have healed up. These drugs are very addictive in nature which is why they are prescribed for only short periods of time. If an individual takes the medication longer than they are prescribed for, they run the risk of becoming dependent on them.

What Makes Opioids so Addictive?

Opioids are some of the most addictive classes of drugs with an overwhelming amount of people becoming dependent and addicted to them. Since opioids bind to certain receptors in the brain to reduce pain and bring about feelings of pleasure and euphoria, it is no wonder why they are so heavily addictive. The brain cannot naturally produce as much serotonin as opioids can produce which means individuals will experience an extreme low as the medication wears away. When a person is consistently exposed to these strong drugs, they will require a higher dosage in order to feel the effects. 

So how can we help combat the drug epidemic that faces the U.S.? We can start by making access to treatment easier by limiting barriers that are often faced by individuals who are struggling. These could be offering financial incentives, funding, and aid to those who cannot afford treatment or do not have health insurance that includes addiction treatment. 

Types of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids, there are a number of treatment programs that have proven to be very effective. Whether you have been addicted for a while or are just beginning to show signs of dependency, it’s important that you seek treatment right away. Inpatient and outpatient treatment are designed to help you overcome your addiction while also learning how to transition back to life after addiction recovery. 

There is a promising life outside of addiction and you have the opportunity to make a lifelong change. The time to get help is now. Reach out to an addiction treatment specialist today and learn how treatment can help you.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/opioid-addiction

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.