What exactly are opioid drugs, and what makes them so addictive? Opioids are drugs derived from opium, which comes from the opium poppy (papaver somniferum). Opioids are natural pain relievers that also provide a sense of comfort and drowsiness. They do this by attaching to certain receptors in our brains (opioid receptors), mimicking the effects of two natural neurotransmitters, endorphin and enkephalin. This is the quality that makes opioid drugs addictive. The brain experiences the strong sensation of reward that it wants to repeat. Biologically, this can drive the impulse to attain more of the drug.
Opioid drugs include the following:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
Because many of these drugs are prescribed by physicians (only heroin is illicit), there is a misperception that they are “safe.” But a drug is a drug — and opioids can be very damaging to a person’s life, even fatal, if misused. In 2018, nearly 47,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose.
What Causes Opioid Addiction?
What happens during an opioid addiction? There are many reasons why a person may become addicted to opioids:
- Some people take prescription opioid drugs for pain after an injury or surgery and develop a dependence on them. Because our bodies become tolerant to the effects of opioid drugs over time, these individuals may take more pills in order to feel the same effects. As they consume the drugs in larger doses, they may begin to feel symptoms of withdrawal upon lack of use. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and difficult to withstand, driving a person into a full-blown addiction.
- Others may be drawn to opioids to take the edge off chronic pain, emotional pain, or trauma in their lives. Taking opioids becomes a way to self-medicate and experience comfort and relief.
- Still others may be experimenting with opioids for the sensations, as they might do with other types of drugs, not understanding the danger of falling into addiction.
Anyone can become addicted to opioids because of the properties of the drugs themselves. No one sets out to become an addict. Some people are more disposed to addiction than others based on their genetic makeup, personality type, family situation, and personal history. Opioid addiction often requires residential treatment so that a person can detox safely and learn the skills necessary to thrive without drugs.
Common Opioid Addiction Symptoms
Here are some common signs and symptoms that an individual may be suffering from opioid addiction:
Common opioid addiction symptoms may include:
- Isolation from family or friends
- Unexplained or sudden financial difficulties
- Extreme drowsiness or changes in sleep patterns
- Weight loss
- Stealing from loved ones
- Excuses or deception pertaining to opioid use
- Inability to control opioid use
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Opioid withdrawal symptoms
Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mood swings
- Suicidal ideation
- Muscle twitching
- Hypersensitivity to pain
If you or someone you love is experiencing opioid addiction or withdrawal, please get in touch with our team today. We can help you detox safely and find healing from this condition.
Why Go to Residential Treatment for Opioid Addiction?
Recovering from opioid addiction is about much more than detox. During detox, your body clears itself of the toxins incurred from drug use. But to fully restore your physical, mental, and emotional health, the issues surrounding your drug use need to be addressed. Through residential treatment, you can find a new path forward, learning how to thrive again as you connect with others on the same journey. You’ll receive support from treatment center staff, therapists, and your peers in treatment as you process your situation, resolve past trauma, and carve out a new life for yourself.
Here are some benefits of attending residential treatment for opioid addiction:
- You can heal outside of the environment where you formerly used drugs, getting away from any stress or unhealthy relationships that may have contributed to your drug use.
- You can engage in experiential therapies such as yoga, art therapy, and music therapy to reconnect with yourself and refresh your spirit.
- You can rest, exercise, and eat healthy meals to help rebalance your body.
- You can receive support and understanding from those going through the same process as well as treatment professionals who can help you take important next steps.
How to Know When It’s Time to Seek Opioid Addiction Treatment
How do you know when it’s time to seek opioid addiction treatment? If you’ve tried to quit using opioid drugs and have begun to experience withdrawal symptoms, please contact our team today. If your condition is severe, it’s important to be monitored and cared for by physicians who can ensure that you get through detox safely. At BeWell Network, we want to help you find the right treatment options so that you can heal from addiction — physically, mentally, and emotionally for the long-term.
Get Opioid Addiction Treatment through BeWell Network
BeWell Network is a family of evidence-based treatment centers. We help individuals suffering from addiction find the path to recovery, offering customized treatment experiences for the restoration of the mind, body, and spirit. If you or a loved one is considering treatment for opioid addiction, please get in touch with our team today. We can assess your situation and recommend treatment options, verifying your benefits for free. We have a no-hassle billing process and are committed to providing treatment designed specially for you.