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Addicted To painkillers: Opioid Use Disorder And Treatment

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What Is Opioid Use Disorder?

Opioid use disorder is a medical condition, where the individual is dependent on opioids and cannot stop using them despite facing harmful consequences. This disorder is characterized by a strong desire to use opioids and increased tolerance to the drugs. In this article, you can also for Opioid use disorder treatment.

Here are the signs of opioid use and symptoms of drug addiction:

  • Drug-seeking behavior and using high doses of opioids.
  • Can not control using the drug.
  • Strong desire for the drug in spite of legal or social problems.
  • Have withdrawal symptoms.
  • Having more opioid cravings.

If a person tries to stop the opioid use abruptly, the individual may experience withdrawal symptoms which includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Palpitations
  • Shakiness
  • Tremors
  • Dilated pupils

How People Get Exposure To These Kinds Of Opioids?

How People Get Exposure To These Kinds Of Opioids_-min

Most people approach their doctor for their ailments and the doctors prescribe painkillers to alleviate pain. In most cases, opioids will be prescribed to people as their pain medication, which doctors call it a narcotic or opiate. These painkillers are derived from the “joy plant” named opium poppy. The medicines made from the opium poppy can not only relieve the pain but also give you a pleasant feeling (euphoria). Due to this, people begin abusing this medication and take a high dose to get a high feeling.

In most of the countries, they banned the use of these pain relievers or limit the usage of such drugs, since they have many side effects, which majorly affect the internal organs like liver, kidney, etc. In America, millions of people suffer from opioid use disorder. People begin using opioids for purposes other than those intended by the doctor. The strong desire for this medication turns into abuse and eventually, the users become addicted to painkillers. This article will provide you with valuable pieces of information on how addiction can affect you and what is opioid use disorder treatment.

Some of the Painkiller Substance

Opioid The term opioid refers to natural and synthetic substances, which mainly acts on three of the receptor systems (mu, kappa, delta). The way of consuming it involves:

  • Intranasal use – “snorting” or “sniffing”
  • Intravenous use – “shooting up” or “mainlining”
  • Subcutaneous use – “skin-popping”
  • Intramuscular use – “muscling”

Heroin – Heroin is the opioid most commonly abused by injection. Its chemical name is diacetylmorphine, which is a derivative of morphine, another commonly used opioid. Other terms for heroin include dope, horse, smack, china white, junk, and tar.

Opium – It is obtained from the opium poppy, which contains morphine and codeine. It is consumed through smoking, and it can be eaten, too. The usage of opium is very low in the United States and it is the most commonly abused substance in Asia and the Middle East.

Endorphin – It is often referred to as a subclass of opioids, which contains endogenous peptides that relieve pain.

Prescribed OpioidsMedications containing opioids were prescribed principally for pain relief. But they have the potential for abuse and addiction, hence the usage of prescription drugs is monitored and regulated by the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.

Opiates – It is also referred to as a subclass of opioids, which contains alkaloid compounds that are naturally present in opium poppy.

Synthetic Opioids – Synthetic opioids are fentanyl, tramadol, and methadone, whereas the semi-synthetic opioids are Oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Medical professionals who have high exposure to these kinds of drugs, for instance – Oxycodone and hydrocodone, are at a higher risk of opioid use disorder as these prescribed drugs have the highest chance of misuse and abuse.

Ill effects of using Pain Killers

Ill effects of using Pain Killers (1)

Science and medicine have improved the lifespan of the human race. Whenever a positive thing emerges, there might be some ill/side effects too. People depend upon medicines for they are well-meaning, especially painkillers that help to get rid of pains.

People may not analyze or think about the harm they are receiving because of consuming those opioids. They just need immediate pain relief. Many of them don’t know that pain killers are never going to treat your injury or repair your body parts completely, but they only subside your pain for the time being.

Those who consume opioids on a regular basis have analgesic and central nervous system depressant effects as well as the potential to cause euphoria. The OUD (Opioid Use Disorder) involves the misuse of prescribed or diverted opioid medications. It is typically a relapsing chronic illness, and more significantly, associated with the increased rate of morbidity and mortality. To withdraw from this addiction, you will need long term maintenance to avoid falling into relapse. The for opioid use disorder treatment includes the usage of agonist and antagonist opioids or some addicts even go for nonmedication or abstinence-based treatment.

Diagnosis Of Opioid Use Disorder

With long-term opioid use, the individual has significant physical and mental impairments. Your doctor will decide whether you have opioid use disorder or not based on certain factors. If a person takes more opioids than intended, they may start spending more time seeking opioids and indulge in social withdrawal, increased tolerance, strong cravings, and will be unable to stop opioid use. Not getting their hands on the drugs will show opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Health Consequences

Those who are using these painkillers for a long time can be observed with poor health or they might look physically weak. Some of the more specific medical conditions which are the result of the signs of opioid use are:

Prone to infection

They are easily affected through contaminated drugs and the usage of non-sterile injections, shared needles or syringes. Through these modes, there is a higher risk rate of bloodborne pathogens. And this results in many diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder

Treatment for opioid use disorder is based on how long the individual abused the drug and the severity of the addiction. The first step is to stop the individual from being dependent on the drug. For this, detoxification is done; it can be performed in an outpatient or an inpatient rehab Omaha to make the patient abstinent. Based on the severity of intoxication, the individual experiences withdrawal symptoms. The doctor may prescribe some medications, namely methadone, and buprenorphine, to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

Another treatment approach for opioid disorder is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Research shows that medication-assisted treatment is the most effective in treating people with an opioid disorder. MAT programs for opioid use disorder encompass the use of medications including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. All these medications block the effects of opioids so that the person does not feel high. These medications come in a tablet form or as an injection.

Opioid Replacement Therapy ( Opioid Use Disorder Treatment)

Opioid replacement therapy is sometimes also called opioid substitution therapy, which makes use of opioid medications that act as a substitute for opioids that were already taken, and these help in reducing the withdrawal symptoms. The medications used in this therapy suppress the cravings for opioids. This replacement therapy stabilizes and maintains the patient’s condition, thereby, allowing them to proceed with further treatments through rehabilitation.

The dosage of the medication given in the replacement therapy is noted by the doctor, and it does not alter the chemical reactions of the brain. However, replacement therapy alone is not sufficient; the patient has to go through individual counseling and other behavioral therapies to get sober and prevent relapsing. For the best opioid use disorder treatment programs, check the addiction centers listed by the Addiction Aide website.

Statistics

Statistics

  • In the United States, about 5.1 million people who were above the age of 12 (it is around 1.9% of the total population), abuse heroin at some point in their lifetime. The heroin-related overdose has been increased in the state, which automatically increases the overdose death rates.
  • More than 3.0 million people in the United States who are over 12 years of age misuse the prescribed pain medication in the year 2015. Among those, about 2.0 million had a DSM-IV disorder of opioid use or dependence during the past year. These prescribed medications are most commonly obtained from the prescription either provided for a self-use or to a friend or relative.
  • About ⅔ of people in the state who primarily use heroin to get high reported the usage of opioids also. And the usage of heroin keeps on increasing, although, in the beginning, it was for non-medical purposes.
  • The use of Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid that is often used to cut heroin, has been increased in the state. This contributes more to the overdose rate.
  • Pregnant women — The usage of opioids among pregnant women is estimated to have increased more than four-fold from 1999 through 2014. The prevalence has been increased from 1.5 to 6.5 cases per 1000 delivery hospitalizations. This automatically results in the increasing rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome and opioid use disorder in the general population.

When you are addicted to painkillers, you might feel good and you often enjoy the feeling of being relaxed or away from any sort of pain. But the consequences you are going to face will push you into more trouble. It’s not too late to withdraw, you might get some help and try to be away from all these opioids and etc. Try to have a good work-life balance, healthy eating, and more. Stay Sober! Be away from self-abuse!

Last Update : October 27, 2020

 

  • https://www.asahq.org/whensecondscount/pain-management/opioid-treatment/opioid-abuse/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171401/https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286976-medication

FAQ's

Can you leave the rehabilitation center?

You can leave the rehab any time, no one will compel you to stay at the rehab. However, dedication and continued treatment are required to fight addiction and achieve a sober life.

What are the Stages of Addiction?

There are various stages of addictions. The initial stage is the functioning individual with the addiction. The most common scenario is they have a job and their relationships are intact, but their health is depleting slowly because of their dependence.

What are narcotics and why people get it?

Narcotic analgesics (painkillers) are drugs that can reduce pain, cause numbness and/ or induce a state of unconsciousness. They have the tendency to cause tolerance and addiction

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  1. Treatment for opioid use disorder is based on how long the individual abused the drug and the severity of the addiction. I like this article…thanks Katrina…

  2. Most of the people like this article. Thanks for sharing this good article, Katrina.

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