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What Does Opioid Abuse Look Like?

Opioid Abuse - Close up photo of a doctor from the neck down to his waist. He is holding a bottle of opioids in his left hand and in his right is several white pills. Opioid abuse is a big concern for doctors who prescribe opioids for pain.


Opioid Abuse

Opioid abuse often occurs when individuals misuse prescriptions.

Increasing dosages is one of the most common examples of this.

It can also occur when the wrong prescription is taken or illicit opioids are used.

For people with mild pains, like head and muscle aches, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually enough.

But for patients with severe, persistent, or complicated pain, a doctor might prescribe an opioid.

These narcotic pain medications can be addictive and have serious side effects when abused long-term. Most people addicted to opioids started with a prescription.

From there, fading effects could lead to self-imposed, increasing dosages. And a completed prescription can lead to an individual seeking opioids elsewhere.

Opioid abuse often leads to opioid addiction.

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Commonly Abused Opioids


Opioids block pain receptors in certain areas of the body, including the brain and spinal cord. This tricks your brain into believing you are not in pain.

Opioids effectively treat moderate and severe pains. Because they are strong and addictive, they are often prescribed sparingly.

Patients may need to show that they do not respond to other pain relievers before a prescription is given.

Opioid abuse is a common and troubling occurrence that medical professionals try their best to avoid. However, it is very difficult to regulate outside of the office.

The most common prescription opioids are:

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin / Percocet)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Morphine (Kadian / Avinza)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl

Morphine and heroin are other commonly abused opioids. Heroin is an illicit drug that has no approved medical uses.

Morphine is used in some medical settings but is more often obtained illegally. Opioids, whether prescription or illicit, interact with the user’s brain and body in similar ways.

They block receptors on nerve cells to stop the pain. Medically-approved opioid pain relievers may be safe to take only for a short amount of time.

Even when prescribed, recommended treatment lengths are short.

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Why Prescription Opioids are Dangerous


Opioids help with pain relief and produce feelings of euphoria. These qualities, among others, make them addictive.

Even when used under a prescription, it’s easy for a dependence to be formed. Opioid abuse can quickly lead to complications.

Addictions, overdoses, accidents, and deaths related to opioids are common. Heroin-related overdose deaths have consistently been on the rise since 2007.

The key to avoiding an overdose is seeking treatment early and often, if necessary.

When used appropriately, prescription opioids are often swallowed. When abused, they may be dissolved in water, snorted, or injected.

These methods present their own unique set of problems. Forcing a faster or stronger result can shorten the time between normal use and dependence.

When a prescription or illicit opioid is abused, the likelihood of an addiction forming is high. There are some short-term, medical uses for opioids.

But there are more long-term harmful effects that come from opioid abuse and addiction. These may include:

  • Persistent drowsiness
  • Confused mental states
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing

The symptoms you experience may vary depending on the type of opioid used. Vicodin and heroin abuse may produce very different results.

Your symptoms may also vary depending on your method of use and individual factors like height and weight. Everyone metabolizes and withdraws from drugs differently.

The majority of opioid withdrawal symptoms are only uncomfortable or mildly painful. Most of these symptoms are not life-threatening.

However, in severe cases, complications can occur. This is especially true if an addiction has developed.

Of all the potential side effects, slowed breathing is particularly troubling.

This can lead to a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching the brain.

There are both short and long-term psychological and neurological effects of hypoxia. These often include coma, brain damage, or death.

Opioid abuse is something to take seriously. If you or someone you love has a problem with opioid abuse, call us today. We are accepting new patients.


Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms


Hopefully, we will have caught your opioid abuse problem before it led to an addiction or persistent withdrawal symptoms.

But in the case of such potent and powerful drugs, withdrawal symptoms may occur earlier than they would for other drugs.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • General agitation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Aches in your muscles
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Increased sweating
  • Frequent yawning

These withdrawal symptoms are common early in the process. Later, you may experience:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have tried to stop abusing opioids and experienced withdrawal symptoms, we can help with this, too.

Withdrawal symptoms are one of the largest drivers of relapses. For many patients, a medically-assisted detox will help you start your treatment with strength and confidence.

For abuse and moderate addictions, the detox process should be short and manageable. A detox will not be necessary for all patients.

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Once we have enough information, we will know if you will benefit from this particular treatment method.

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Opioid Abuse Rehab Treatments


Depending on the type, severity, and length of the opioid abuse, we have several treatment options available.

The potential for addiction will also be considered. Additionally, several other individual factors will be taken into account so that we can customize your care plan from start to finish.

If you are ready to complete an initial intake, our admissions coordinators are available now.

They will ask the necessary questions to help you determine your best course of action.

They can also confirm your insurance for you. We understand how difficult it can be to contact an insurance provider and we want to take this off of your plate.

We accept most major insurance carriers. For patients with little or no coverage, we offer customized payment plans.

We are happy to work with you to get you the care you need. Feel free to ask about your payment and treatment options when you call.

They can also confirm your insurance for you. We understand how difficult it can be to contact an insurance provider and we want to take this off of your plate.

We accept most major insurance carriers. For patients with little or no coverage, we offer customized payment plans. We are happy to work with you to get you the care you need.

Feel free to ask about your payment and treatment options when you call. Depending on your needs, we offer:

Whichever program you are placed into will be backed by years of science. Our treatment methods are tried-and-true.

They are researched, proven, and effective. These methods include various therapies, counseling sessions, support groups, and holistic remedies.

Our goal is to improve the life of each patient that walks through our doors.

The experts at Resurgence Behavioral Health have had decades to perfect their methods. We will do our best to treat your condition and give you the tools you need to protect yourself in the future.

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Resurgence Behavioral Health Opioid Abuse Care


Unlike many other rehab providers, our care plans are always customized.

Our patient-focused approach is what sets us apart. We don’t believe in or offer one-size-fits-all solutions.

We understand that every patient that walks through our doors is different.

You have different temptations, addictions, personalities, and physical characteristics.

What works for you may not work for everyone else, and we never want to push ineffective treatments out of ease or perceived convenience.

Resurgence will always provide you with care as unique as you are. Our convenient facilities are located across the beautiful state of California.

Call to get started today. Help is waiting.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.