Opioids are a kind of medication typically used to relieve pain. They work by attaching to certain receptors on cells, thereby decreasing the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Opioids (which technically refers to man-made versions of a substance found in the opium poppy plant, as opposed to “opiates,” the term for the natural substance) are often prescribed for pain from dental procedures, surgeries, injuries, or chronic conditions like cancer. They are safe when used as directed. However, they are highly habit forming and frequently the driver for people seeking addiction rehab in Sacramento.
How to Spot Opioid Abuse
Some of the many legal drugs that, along with the illegal drug heroin, are collectively referred to as “opioids” include:
The signs that a person may be using or abusing one or more of these drugs include:
- Inability to discontinue use or using more or more frequently than directed
- Excessive drowsiness
- Physical agitation
- Poor coordination
- Mood swings
- Shallow or slow breathing rate
- Impaired decision making
- Slurred speech
- Significant changes in sleeping habits (more or less than normal)
Opioid abuse can easily lead to drug tolerance and/or drug dependence. Drug tolerance is when, over time, you need more of a drug to achieve the same degree of pain relief. If you cut back on your intake or stop taking the drug altogether, that tolerance will fade and then lower doses will be effective if you resume your use.
Drug dependence is when you use a drug for long enough at a high enough dosage that your body chemistry actually changes and you begin to need the substance on an ongoing basis. At that point, cutting back or stopping results in withdrawal symptoms, which can range from minor to severe.
Helping People Understand the Issues Associated with Opioid Abuse
At New Dawn addiction rehab in Sacramento, we help the people we work with understand how opioids are affecting them. We then use proven programs to help opioid users gradually and safely end their dependence on the drug. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.