Understanding Opiate (Opioid) Addiction

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What is Opioid addiction?

Opioid addiction is the physical and emotional dependence on opiates.  It can be very difficult to rehabilitate an opiate addict due to the devastating effects these drugs can have on a body if abused. In fact, opiates are so addictive that even under the monitoring of a physician, a person can become addicted.  Sadly, if opioid addiction is not treated, it can be deadly.

Opiates include Fentanyl (Duragesic®), Hydrocodone (Vicodin®), Oxycodone (OxyContin®), Oxymorphone (Opana®), Propoxyphene (Darvon®), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), Meperidine (Demerol®), Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®), and heroin. Opiates are often used to control pain, physical and emotional.

What are the signs opioid addiction?

The signs of opioid addiction can include:

  • Denial or thinking that there is no problem
  • Lack of control over drug use
  • Spending more and more time/money using drugs
  • Spending bill money on drugs
  • Inability to say no to the drug
  • Lying about drug use
  • Track marks or scabs and bruises, especially on the arms
  • Finding needles
  • Trying to quit multiple times and always falling back into drug use
  • Using the drugs despite the known consequences being caused financial, physical, or emotional
  • Compulsive use
  • Use any time of day, morning, day and night
  • Inability to maintain social relationships
  • Trouble at work or school or with the law
  • Continued use despite physical/medical complications
  • Paying less attention to personal hygiene

What does opioid addiction do to the body?

Opiate addiction is classified as a central nervous system disorder and can result in the deterioration of the brain and sensory nerves.  This will stop the production of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural chemicals that enable us to experience feelings or emotions. Once the body is no longer producing endorphins, the drug user becomes completely dependent on the opiate for pain control.

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