Knowing How Opiates and Opioids Work
Opiates and opioids work in almost the same manner in the human body. To understand how these two work, you need to understand how painkillers work. Painkillers do not address the source of the pain. What they do is that they stop the pain message from reaching the brain because the brain doesn’t recognize the pain; hence you don’t feel the pain. Both opiates and opioids bind to the same brain receptors. As a painkiller, opioids can be very effective. But they do pose a high risk when it comes to abuse and dependency. Because of this, opioids are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act or CSA. Despite being regulated, however, opioids are still being prescribed indiscriminately by some doctors. Opioid addiction usually starts from being prescribed to take the drug. So a good number of opioid dependents are patients who have taken the drug to manage pain.
How to Recognize Opioid Addiction
If a patient starts to need a larger dosage of Opioids, then that means he or she is building tolerance to the drug. This can also be translated as the person is addicted already. Some people even hoard pills, or if they can’t get pills from their doctor, they would try to get their supply from other sources, even illegal ones. One of the things you should know about opioid addicts is that many of them have not previously done recreational drugs. They just developed a drug habit from taking opioids to address a particular condition. This proves that anyone can develop a dependency on drugs, even those without a history of drug abuse. Many do not realize this fact at first. Many drug dependents would even deny their condition. They only acknowledge the problem when it is already very severe.
Who are at Risk of Becoming Dependent on Opioids?
Fentanyl is probably the most addictive of all opioids. People can become dependent on this drug even if it is taken only for a short time. When people take opioids, they get a temporary feeling of euphoria. This is because the drugs cause a release of endorphins in the body. So even those who are described to take opioids for a few days are in danger of developing a dependency on it. But some people are at greater risk of developing a dependence on opioids. These include people who have a family history of substance abuse. People living in poverty, those who are unemployed, and those in contact with high-risk individuals such as drug users are also more prone to becoming addicted to opioids than other people. Since it’s highly addictive, many experts’ advice against the use of opioids unless it’s for end of life care.
What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal are intense and even scary. Those who are suffering from opioid withdrawal often feel intense pain. Some of the symptoms can even be life-threatening. This is why opioid users shouldn’t go to withdrawal unless he or she is inside a medical or rehabilitation facility. Those suffering opioid withdrawal symptoms must be monitored all the time by a certified professional. Those who are suffering from milder symptoms of opioid withdrawal can suffer from nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and muscle cramps. These mild symptoms are not life-threatening but they can still be very uncomfortable. The problem is when people feel mild symptoms of withdrawal; they tend to go back to taking opioids.
Opiates and opioids are potent drugs and though they are effective in relieving pain, these drugs are highly addictive. Drug abuse is a problem that affects both the mind and the body. So the most effective treatment for drug abuse is a holistic approach. The first thing that one needs to ensure is that the patient goes through withdrawal in a safe manner. A right rehabilitation center such as Elevate Recovery Center can help patients go through withdrawal and beyond. There’s hope for people suffering from opioid addiction, and finding a good rehabilitation center is crucial.