Opioid misuse is a serious problem in Massachusetts and across the country. Despite the well-known dangers of opioid addiction, millions of men and women continue to abuse opioids every day. There are dangerous side effects of opioid abuse that can cause permanent brain damage, organ failure, and death with long-term abuse. Fortunately, support is available to those who need help breaking their addiction to prescription opioids, heroin, or other harmful drugs.
At Swift River, our accredited treatment center offers comprehensive addiction recovery programs for those struggling with opioid abuse. When patients first arrive at our discreet facility, a certified therapist will perform a full assessment to create a tailored treatment program that addresses the physical and mental aspects of their addiction. The treatment plan is updated to ensure maximum benefits as they progress in their recovery. To learn more about our opioid addiction treatment program, pick up the phone and call 888.451.5895 today or send us a question online, and we will get back to you ASAP.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a natural pain reliever made from the plant Papaver somniferum. It is a powerful pain reliever used to treat pain due to a severe injury, while recovering from surgery, or for patients with chronic pain. Examples of opioids include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. Opioids are safe to take when you follow the prescription and work with your doctor as your pain levels decrease. Never stop taking opioids suddenly, as that can cause withdrawal symptoms that include:
- Intensifying drug cravings
- Stomach cramping/pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Your doctor will taper you off the medication to avoid these symptoms. Those who take opioids with alcohol or cannabis or take more than prescribed put themselves at risk of developing a strong dependence and addiction. If they try to quit without support, they run the risk of relapse when their symptoms peak around 48-72 hours.
At Swift River, our goal is to support men and women from all walks of life who are abusing opioids and are ready to make a positive change. We teach them about opioid abuse side effects and the dangers of long-term abuse and give them healthy coping skills for managing their symptoms and triggers.
Common Side Effects of Opioid Abuse
If you know someone who is taking opioid medication for pain and worry they are abusing it, there are several signs that you can look for that point to abuse. If left untreated, many people will seek out alternatives such as heroin when they can no longer gain access to prescription opioids.
Physical Side Effects
When someone begins abusing their opioid medication, it can cause a physical dependence on the drug that will create painful withdrawals if they suddenly stop taking it. Some physical side effects of opioid abuse that you can look for include drowsiness, mental confusion, slowed breathing, and constipation. They will also experience intense euphoria, which can be very alluring, especially to those who experience depression or other mental health disorders.
Behavioral Side Effects
Addiction creates powerful cravings that make quitting very difficult. The more a person takes, the stronger their cravings will be, and this can lead to several behavioral changes. Opioid abuse can cause individuals to withdraw from friends and family, lose interest in their favorite activities, and stop caring for their personal hygiene. Other changes can include lying about their activities, changes in the friends they hang out with, and engaging in risky activities like theft or violence to obtain more drugs.
Longterm Side Effects
With continued opioid abuse, patients can experience chronic constipation, sleep-disordered breathing problems, and an increased risk of bone fractures. Other medical problems include cardiovascular complications, bowel dysfunctions, and a sex hormone deficiency, which can cause decreased libido, impotence in men, and infertility problems in women.
Understanding the side effects of opioid abuse can help save the life of a friend or loved one. While opioids are safe to take for pain relief, patients must be careful not to take alcohol or other drugs and not take more than prescribed.
Find Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment at Swift River – Massachusetts
Men and women who struggle with opioid abuse can begin their recovery at Swift River, Massachusetts. We are a full-service treatment center that provides detox, residential, and outpatient treatment programs to support all stages of recovery. Patients will participate in group and private therapy sessions where they learn about the side effects of opioid use and the harm they are causing to themselves and their loved ones. For severe cases of addiction, we offer medication-assisted treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.