Anyone can develop an addiction to opioids even if they are used as prescribed; however, some risk factors increase your chances of developing it. These include a history of substance abuse, environmental factors, chronic pain, psychological factors, and age. Speaking with your physician before you start an opioid prescription can help prevent possible addiction.
Opioids are prescribed to help patients relieve their pain because of surgery, injury, toothache, or chronic conditions like cancer. They can lower the number of pain signals the brain receives and change how it responds to pain. An opioid addiction refers to an intense craving to use the medication. Addiction is a disease that impacts how you behave and think. During the early stage of opioid use, a person can control their choice to use it. However, if they do not follow their doctor’s instructions, it can make them want to continue to use the drug. Over time, their brain changes, so the person develops an urge to take opioids constantly. If you have an opioid addiction, you can get the proper treatment from Ashwin Reddy, MD.
Table of Contents
How to Know You are Addicted to Opioids
One obvious sign of opioid addiction is the inability to stop using the drug. Also, you may be addicted to the drugs if you cannot stop using more than what you are prescribed. Other signs include poor decision-making, shallow or slow breathing rate, mood swings, physical agitation, depression, and anxiety attacks.
Moreover, you may be addicted to opioids if you continue to use them without your doctor’s consent, even if you are experiencing issues because of it. You may have issues with your health, finances, work, relationships, and the law. Your loved ones may notice you have an addiction issue before you do because of the changes in your behaviors.
Taking too many opioids can lead to opioid overdose, presenting symptoms such as slow, irregular breathing, unresponsiveness, vomiting, slow pulse, and loss of consciousness.
How to Treat an Opioid Addiction
Because opioid addiction is a chronic illness, it should be managed and monitored continuously. You must discuss treatment with your doctor, who completed proper training for this condition. Treatment varies by person. But, it is meant to help you stop using opioids. Also, treatment can help you avoid taking it in the future.
Stopping opioid use can make your body react. You will experience several withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and abdominal pain. Your doctor can prescribe medications to help alleviate these symptoms and control your cravings. These include naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone.
In addition, you may need mental or emotional help. You can get behavioral treatment, so you can learn ways to manage depression. Also, such treatment can help you avoid the drugs you are addicted to, deal with cravings, and heal your damaged relationships. It can include individual and family counseling, as well as cognitive therapy. Your doctor will recommend a suitable form of therapy you need depending on your condition.