If you do an online search for, “What are opioids?”, you will discover a class of drugs including illegal drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, as well as prescription pain medication such as oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone. Individuals abuse opioids all the time. In 2017, more than 2 million Americans misused prescription opioids, and it is a concern of prescribers everywhere.
What Are Opioids?: Understanding Withdrawal
Withdrawing from opioids is a process that is best accomplished in a medically-supervised setting. When you’re in such an environment, you’ll be surrounded by knowledgeable doctors and staff who can keep you safe.
When you understand what are opioids, you can better understand how they impact the body. You’ll also understand why withdrawal is challenging. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within about 12 hours of your last use and can become worse once symptoms begin. Withdrawal from opioids can cause:
- Sweating, runny nose, and muscle aches
- Extreme agitation and anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
- Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
The symptoms of opiate withdrawal are not usually life-threatening, but they are uncomfortable and can leave you feeling unsafe and unwell. Supervised detox enables you to get the support you need to get through the detox period. Once you complete detox, you can move forward with rehab treatment to learn about the emotional and behavioral components of addiction.
Know the Signs of Heroin Abuse
Heroin is an illegal opioid. Often, individuals use it as a replacement for abused prescription pain medication. Heroin is less expensive than trying to purchase prescription opioids illegally, and it impacts the same opioid receptors in the brain. Signs of heroin abuse include:
- Dry mouth or trouble breathing
- Erratic behavior followed by periods of lethargy
- Pupils become constricted
- Track marks along the arms, especially the forearms
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 80% of people who abused heroin first also had a problem abusing prescription pain medication. Roughly 6% of people who abuse prescription pain medication turn to heroin as a way to continue to get high. This happens because heroin is less expensive and easier to obtain. While there is a correlation between prescription pain medication abuse and heroin abuse, there are other factors that contribute to the overall opioid crisis.
If you or a loved one notice signs of heroin use, reach out to a reputable heroin detox center to begin the process of recovery.
Deterring an Opioid Overdose
Once you understand what are opioids, it is easier to understand how to rescue medication works to prevent an opioid overdose. Too much opioid causes a suppression of the respiratory system, which is the main reason people die from an overdose of opioids.
Medication such as Narcan is an opioid antagonist. When Narcan is given in time, the impact of the overdose can be reversed almost immediately. First responders and other emergency personnel are trained in the use of Narcan, and it has proven effective at preventing accidental death from an overdose.
Working to Prevent a Relapse
Opioid addiction is difficult on users as well as their families. Knowing what are opioids can help with sobriety efforts. Some people struggle to maintain sobriety, and medication like suboxone during detox is used to help create sobriety. While the medication is an opioid, it is also a partial opioid antagonist. Used correctly, medications like suboxone are an effective treatment to remove harmful drugs from your system and move on with recovery.
Get the support you need to maintain your sobriety and learn relapse prevention strategies that work for you at an opioid addiction rehab center in Florida. Beyond medication, you can get to know others in sobriety to build a support network around you. Work with a therapist and learn new strategies to stop abusing drugs.
Treatment for Addiction Starts Now
If you are trying to break free from an addiction to opioids, it’s time to get the help. Consider an opioid detox center in Jacksonville FL. In such an environment, you can safely remove drugs from your system in a supervised setting and get the support you deserve throughout the withdrawal process.