Opioid dependence is a growing concern that can affect anyone. While many people think of opioids as strictly illegal drugs, they can also include prescription medications used to treat pain. These medications are effective at treating pain, but they can also be highly addictive. Understanding what opioids are, how dependence develops, and the signs of opioid dependence can help you protect yourself or someone you know from opioid abuse.
What Are Opioids and What Makes Them Addictive?
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both prescription painkillers and illicit substances. Common opioids include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in your brain. This increases the release of dopamine, which produces a feeling of euphoria. With repeated use, your body will build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning you will need more of it to get the same effect. This is what makes opioids so addictive—the need to continue increasing use in order to maintain the desired effect.
How Opioid Dependence Develops
Opioid dependence develops when the brain adjusts to the constant presence of opioids, leading to physical and psychological reliance on the drugs. When you become dependent on opioids, you experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using them. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and include muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, anxiety, and mood swings. Opioid dependence is a progressive condition that can lead to addiction if left untreated.
Signs of Opioid Dependence
While it can be difficult to recognize the signs of opioid dependence, there are certain behaviors that may indicate a problem. Some signs of opioid abuse or addiction include:
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed – Someone who is struggling with opioid dependence may show a decreased interest in activities they used to enjoy.
- Financial difficulties – People who are dependent on opioids may experience financial difficulty due to their habit of buying more drugs than they can afford.
- Social isolation – Someone who is dependent on opioids may withdraw from friends and family, choosing to spend time alone instead.
- Unexplained mood swings – Mood swings can be caused by the physical and psychological effects of opioids.
- Neglecting responsibilities – People struggling with opioid dependence may begin to neglect their work, school, or home responsibilities.
No matter what stage of opioid dependence you or someone you know is in, it’s important to seek help. Treatment can help you understand the underlying causes of your dependence and how to manage it.
How Opioid Addiction Treatment Can Help
Opioid addiction treatment takes a multifaceted approach to help those struggling with substance use disorders. Treatment is most effective when it’s tailored to the individual’s needs and may include a combination of medication, counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes.
Working through the underlying issues that are driving your opioid use is essential to long-term success. If trauma, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues are at the root of your opioid dependence, treatment can help you manage these feelings in a healthy way.
Call Roaring Brook Today for Opioid Addiction Treatment
Opioid dependence is a complex condition that requires a multifaceted approach to treat it effectively. To recover from opioid addiction, you need professional help that addresses your unique needs. At Roaring Brook Recovery, we provide tailored treatment programs that enhance your chances of successful recovery. Contact us today by calling 855.590.9944 or reach out online to learn more about our addiction treatment services and start your journey to lasting recovery.