What are the Signs of Opioid Use?

by | Mar 22, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Individuals who abuse opioids will often demonstrate signs of addiction to opioids that are both physical and social/emotional. Opioid use, abuse, and addiction can impact every area of an individual’s life.

At Impact IOP, our intensive outpatient programming supports clients in making a change in their lives through structured treatment, counseling, group therapy, and appointments with doctors and nurses. This type of treatment helps clients maintain some of their day-to-day activities while ensuring they get the continuous support they need to maintain sobriety successfully.

Contact Impact IOP today to see how our intensive programs can support you in your battle against opioid addiction.

What are Opioids?

Opioids and opiates are drugs that block the pain receptors in the body. These narcotics are both naturally occurring and synthetically made. These drugs are incredibly effective but also extremely dangerous. Their fast-acting ability to stop the pain also makes them a danger. 

Opioids have many physical effects that make them ideal for medical use but can also cause many side effects that make them inappropriate and less effective for long-term or chronic use. 

Opiates and opioids can be found as pills, syrups, injections, and patches. They can be ingested, injected, snorted, smoked, and absorbed based on the preferred method.

How Do Opioids Affect the Brain?

Opioids affect the brain because of how quickly they work and the effect the drug has on the reward receptors in the brain.

When it comes to opioid use, individuals are happy to be out of pain, but they often feel a dreamy, sleepy high associated with this feeling. This high occurs when individuals taking opioids create an excessive dopamine release in response to the body no longer being in pain. This excess of dopamine causes the high to be calming and pain-free.

For individuals on a limited dosage, this is fine. But tolerance and dependence on the drug can occur for individuals who are on a more prolonged dosage for continuous pain or misuse of their limited dosage. Tolerance and dependence are side effects that opioids have on the brain. Tolerance occurs when the body needs more of the drug to achieve the same high, and dependencies need the drug to function. While these two things can be indicators of addiction, they are not specific to it and can occur without an individual having a diagnosable substance abuse problem.

What are the Signs of Opioid Use?

Individuals who abuse opioids can have several physical symptoms and social signs of use and addiction. Opioids slow down the functions in the body, including the brain, functional organs like the heart, lungs, stomach, and other systems like digestion and mental health. 

Opioid highs generally make individuals feel calm and sleepy. This feeling is suitable for individuals with a medical need for opioids; however, this persistent state can often lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns for individuals using the drug to get high.

Physically, due to how opioids impact the body’s functions, individuals often experience constipation, reduced heart rate, and reduced breathing rates. In addition, the body will take longer to process food, making weight gain a common side effect of opioid abuse. 

Additionally, individuals who abuse opioids are at risk for fatal overdoses. Opioids can slow down the system when an individual stops breathing. Narcan/Naloxone is available for individuals who overdose, but the drug will immediately put an individual into acute withdrawal and, depending on the drug overdosed on, might not even work. 

How to Find Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with opioid addiction, it is vital to find the best opioid addiction treatment available in your price range. Opioid overdose accounted for most of the overdose-related deaths in the last year. 

At Impact IOP, clients can focus on making a change in their lives through effective and supportive outpatient addiction treatment. Through Impacts’ intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and standard outpatient treatment programs, clients can live at home while accessing structured and supportive addiction treatment designed around their specific opioid abuse needs. 
If you are ready to make a change in your life and stop using and abusing opioids, contact Impact IOP today to see how our programs can support you on your path to recovery.

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