Opioids are drugs sometimes prescribed by doctors to treat severe or persistent pain such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others. This classification of drugs also includes illegal forms such as heroin and lab-made fentanyl. Opiate-based drugs work by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain to block out the sensation of pain. Opioid drugs are also extremely strong, dangerous, and highly addictive.
Opioids Used for Pain Relief
Opioids have almost always been regarded as the most effective drugs for the treatment of pain. They are used for the management of acute severe pain and also chronic pain related to medical illness. The word opioid refers to any compounds that bind to the opiate receptors within the brain. The term opiate means they are derived from the opium poppy plant, which includes morphine or codeine for example, whereas opioids include semi-synthetic opiates. This means they are synthesized from naturally occurring opiates, like heroin or fentanyl. Opioids work to provide pain relief by binding to specific proteins called opioid receptors. Those receptors that are involved in pain moderation and response are found both in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Once opioids are attached to these receptors, they reduce the sending of pain signals to the brain and also reduce the feelings of pain. They essentially block pain messaged sent from the body to reaching the spinal cord and the brain. As a result, opioids also provide a euphoric effect is that is sought-after by men and women with addictive personalities and drug abuse histories.
Opioid Abuse Risks and Side Effects
While opioids are very effective in relieving pain, it is also critical to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with opioids pain medications. Even when they are taken as prescribed, they still pose a threat to dependence and even addiction. Opioids are one of the most addictive substances that are available and addiction to them can damage both the body and the mind. The effects it has on someone’s health can begin quickly and deteriorate your health. This is due to their strength and the way they react with the pleasure sensors in the brain. When opioid drugs are taken, your brain records the feelings of pleasure that are produced. It will then cue the person to experience these feelings every time by taking more of the drug each time. When someone takes an opioid drug too often or in large amounts, the drug is less effective, but the brain still wants the feelings of pleasure that opioid provide. The brain’s reward system combines with heightened tolerance encouraged a constantly increasing opioid use. It often gets to the point where a person will not just take it to feel good, but they must take them to avoid feeling bad as tolerance increases. These are known as withdrawal symptoms, which are painful symptoms that occur when an addicted person does not take an opioid or does not take enough within a certain period. Withdrawal can happen even if the person is not mentally addicted to it, but simply physically dependent.
Opioid Addiction Help
If opioid addiction is left untreated, the chances of fatality continuously increase. If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of addiction, know that you can be treated and you can recover from your addiction and lead a happy, fulfilled life. Evoke Wellness at Miramar provides a top tier level of care for each of our patients. Our team of qualified professionals is available 24/7 to answer any question or concerns you may have. It is time to put the pain and misery of addiction in your past and rebuild your life into something you are proud of. Now is the time to make the change. We want to help you do it!