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Prescription Opioid Users


When an individual suffers a major injury or undergoes surgery, physicians typically prescribe an analgesic.

If the pain level is moderate to severe, the individual may be prescribed a prescription opioid.

In 2017, over 191 million opioid prescriptions were prescribed to American patients.

Some prescription opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and codeine.

These drugs are deemed a Schedule II narcotic by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the government agency that regulates drugs.

These prescription drugs are formulated to alleviate the pain of patients.

However, the analgesic effects are not the only effect produced by prescription opioids.

Intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation are also effects of prescription opioids.

These drugs are highly addictive and can cause dependency or addiction.

Many times, individuals do not intend to abuse their prescription opioids.

However, some may take more than their prescribed dosage due to the euphoric feeling and the development of tolerance.

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What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of psychoactive substances that provide pain relief.

Some opioids are prescribed by a physician to relieve moderate to severe pain and to relieve symptoms of a severe cough.

Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. It can also bind to the spinal cord, stomach, and other parts of the body.

The opioid receptors then block signals from the brain to the body and release a great amount of dopamine.

Short-term effects include increased pain tolerance, euphoria, drowsiness, calmness, nausea, constipation, and slowed breathing.

Long-term effects include brain damage, liver damage, and coma. It can also lead to death.

Opioids are an extremely hard drug to stop using, especially when it is abused.

The withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction are intense, which compels an individual to avoid these unpleasant symptoms by continuing to use the drug.

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How Do Prescription Opioids Work in the Brain?

Opioids are highly addictive; the reason for this is because of the way opioids work in the brain, and also how it eventually alters brain chemistry, resulting in brain damage. During the early stages of opioid abuse, the compulsion to consume the drug increases due to tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, consider seeking help at our Los Angeles alcohol rehab treatment center.

When opioids are consumed, it enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain.

It then binds to the specialized proteins mu-opioid receptors, which are located on the surfaces of brain cells sensitive and susceptible to opioids.

When these chemicals are linked, stimulation of the biochemical brain activity occurs, which produces feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria, as well as reduces pain.

Opioids also release the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain that dictates the user’s desire to keep ingesting the drug, to maintain pleasure, and to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Prolonged use of opioids on its own will result in brain damage.

The Opioid Epidemic

Since 2010, opioid use, hospitalizations, and deaths from overdose have been increasing throughout the U.S.

This is referred to as the opioid epidemic or opioid crisis.

The opioid epidemic is now the number one cause of preventable and accidental deaths in the U.S.

Approximately, 40,000 people die each year from an opioid-related overdose.

This is equivalent to 115 deaths from opioids per day. Opioid drugs include substances such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, and morphine.

Opioid addiction does not only target one demographic in particular but rather it is prevalent among the entirety of the population.

This includes urban, rural, and upper-class communities, teenagers, veterans, and people with preexisting mental health conditions.

The opioid epidemic does not only affect the individual using opioids, but it also detrimentally affects all of the individual’s loved ones. There are a plethora of reasons as to why an individual decides to use opioids.

A common trend among prescription opioid abuse and addiction is how an individual develops dependency.

Often, an individual has been prescribed an opioid medication such as hydrocodone or oxycodone to treat moderate to severe pain. However, opioids carry a high potential for dependency due to the powerful recreational effects it produces in the body. For more insights and support, visit alcohol rehab treatment Palo Alto.

Tolerance is easily developed, which causes the individual to use more than his or her prescribed dosage.

This leads to opioid addiction.

Signs of Prescription Opioid Addiction

  • Taking more than prescribed dosage
  • Doctor shopping (seeking multiple prescriptions from different physicians)
  • Intense cravings to use the drug
  • Seeking to buy prescription opioids on the black market
  • Lying about the amount and frequency of use
  • Unable to control use
  • Decline in appearance and hygiene
  • Decline in work, school, and responsibilities
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Physical health problems such as liver damage, constipation, nausea, vomiting, shallow breathing
  • Hallucinations

Mental Illness and Prescription Opioid Addiction

Prescription opioids have valuable medical use while some use them for purely recreational effects.

The commonality between both uses is that there is no guarantee of safety when consuming them.

All prescription opioids have a high potential for abuse. Approximately half the people with mental illness will abuse drugs to combat the overwhelming symptoms they feel. This is only a short relief from their distress.

It will cause further deterioration of mental health and physical health problems. Individuals with a preexisting mental illness or illnesses should only take medications as prescribed by a physician.

It is the safest thing to do. Any psychoactive substance comes with its risks, especially in those with mental illness, who are more susceptible to adverse effects.

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Treatment for Prescription Opioid Addiction

Treatment for prescription opioid abuse and addiction is commonly treated at substance abuse treatment centers or rehab.

Individuals can be treated for a variety of mental health disorders in addition to substance abuse and addiction. Most substance abuse treatment centers provide outpatient and inpatient services.

An individual receiving outpatient services does not require him or her to remain at the center at all times. The individual will attend treatment services at the substance abuse center a determined number of times per week.

An individual receiving inpatient services requires him or her to remain at the center for the duration of his or her treatment. Common services provided by substance abuse treatment centers typically include medical detoxification, individual and group therapy, specific psychotherapies and other life skills and coping training, and medication management.

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Seeking treatment for your dependency is one of the bravest things you can do for yourself.

Do not let your situation stop you from contacting Resurgence Behavioral Health.

We provide honest and accurate pricing information for all of our treatment options.

We offer free insurance verification. Call us today to see if you qualify.

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Reach Out and Receive Treatment Today

Do not wait any further! Help is available to you when you need it.

You are not alone in this struggle.

The trained professionals at Resurgence Behavioral Health genuinely care about you and dedicate their lives to make sure you can live yours.

To overcome substance addiction, proper drug therapy treatment is required.

It is not an easy walk, but our treatment is the best option when it comes to your health.

We provide the most professional treatment to give you a fighting chance in a rough battle.

Let today be the day you reach out to Resurgence Behavioral Health so that you can begin to reclaim the life you have been missing!

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