Opioids are some of the most abused drugs. That includes both prescription and illicit opioids. These drugs trigger the opioid receptors in the brain. This is the area of the central nervous system that controls pain signals. It also controls the reward center, where you experience pleasure. Opioid abuse is common because of how addictive these drugs are, but treatment can be effective. At Serenity Light Recovery, our goal is to provide you with tools to help you heal.
What Happens When Opioid Abuse Occurs?
Like any drug addiction, opioid use worsens over time. Initially, the use of this type of drug causes a euphoric feeling. You feel less stress, no pain, and more relaxed. You may have a boost of energy, or you may just feel less anxiety and stress. This good feeling does not last long. However, each time used, the drug triggers your pleasure sensors, and over time the brain begins to seek out that feeling. Dependence forms, causing your body to become reliant on the drug as well.
While that feel-good feeling may still be occurring, the body is not able to function normally without the drug. And, most people develop tolerance, which means they need to use more to get the same type of high. With each increase in how much you are using, the risk of an overdose – a shutdown of the body’s functions – occurs.
What Opioid Abuse Does Over the Long Term
When a person continues to engage in substance abuse, the damage from those toxins continues. The toxins build up in the body’s various systems, causing damage to tissue and organs. Some of the long-term side effects of opioid abuse include:
- Respiratory issues, including trouble with slowed or shallow breathing
- Physical dependence, which creates withdrawal symptoms when a lack of substance use occurs
- Cardiovascular disorders including irregular heart rates and the risk of heart attacks
- Cognitive function changes, including memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep complications, including insomnia
Some people also develop complications related to dry skin, oral health concerns, excessive sweating, and weight gain. The longer the drug is used, the more likely it is that kidney and liver damage will occur, or an overdose will happen.
Additionally, the longer these drugs are used, the more likely a person is to experience damage to their immune system. This leaves a person vulnerable to illness from infection.
How Opioid Abuse Impacts Mental Health
Another way this type of substance abuse can impact a person’s life is through the development of mental health disorders. Sometimes, mental health disorders trigger the use of drugs as a way to cope with symptoms. However, opioids can also lead to the onset of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
What Can Help Prevent the Damage from Opioid Abuse?
The only thing that can provide significant improvement is no longer using opioids. However, because these drugs are highly addictive, it is not always simple to just stop using. Doing so suddenly may also lead to serious health risks, hallucinations, and paranoia. That is why it should be done in a controlled environment.
Our team can offer help. We provide a range of services to support your body in the healing process. How much healing can happen ranges widely. These programs may be a good starting point:
- Drug detox services
- Residential addiction services
- Intensive outpatient program
- 30 day extended care programs
- 90 day extended care programs
Engage in Treatment Now – Call Serenity Light Recovery
Are you engaging in opioid abuse and worried about what that may mean for your future? Let our professionals at Serenity Light Recovery offer guidance. We offer the comprehensive treatment you need in a warm, welcoming environment. Learn more about our opioid rehab services by calling 855.658.6109 or connecting with us now online.