How to Prevent Opioid Addiction

Opioids are medicines that people use to relieve pain. Once taken, opioids lower the pain signs sent to the brain by the body. Some of them work by changing how the brain reacts to pain. Opioids are mostly used to relieve pain from chronic conditions like cancer. They are also prescribed to relieve pain from dental procedures and toothaches, surgeries, and injuries.

Opioids are also ingredients of some prescription medicines for cough. Usually, opioids are safe when used correctly. However, some people don’t follow the instructions provided by their doctors. As such, opioids are often misused and this leads to addiction. A person misuses opioids when they fail to follow the instructions that the doctor provides about their use. Taking opioids illegally is also misuse.

Addiction Explained

Addiction can be described as a disease that affects the behavior and brain of a person. When a person has an addiction, they may engage in activities that will require their loved ones to call a free helpline providing drug addiction information more often seeking emergency assistance. This is a phone number that is manned by professionals that understand addicts, their loved ones, and the help they need in different situations.

At first, a person has control over the decision to use a drug. But, when they misuse the drug, the pleasurable effect it provides makes them want to continue using it. After some time, the brain is altered in some ways. Thus, a person gets a strong urge to consume the addictive substance.

Examples of opioids that can be addictive include:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine
  • Tramadol
  • Paregoric
  • Hydrocodene
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodene
  • Sufentanil
  • Hydromorphone

Signs of Opioid Addiction

How do you tell that it’s time to call rehab seeking assistance? Recognizing addiction as a problem is a first and most important step in the recovery journey. The fact that a person can’t stop the use of opioids is a clear sign of dependency or addiction. What’s more, a person has an addiction if they can’t stop using more than the amount recommended by the doctor.

Research indicates that different opioids have varying withdrawal signs. These are the symptoms that an addicted person shows when they try to stop using or reduce the amount of the opioids they take. However, some symptoms are common for most opioids.

Here are some of the common signs of opioid addiction:

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor coordination
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Slow or shallow breathing rate
  • Constipation
  • Impaired decision-making ability
  • Physical agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Lowered motivation
  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Sleeping problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Anxiety attacks

Signs of Opioid Overdose

How do you tell that you need to call the national addiction hotline number seeking emergency assistance? An opioid overdose requires immediate treatment. That’s why you should make this call immediately if you suspect that somebody has overdosed on these drugs.

Common opioid overdose signs include:

  • Slow and erratic breathing or inability to breath
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Vomiting
  • No or slow and erratic pulse
  • Passing out
  • Constricted pupils

Causes of Opioid Addiction

Addiction occurs when opioids change how the brain works. They do this by making artificial endorphins. In addition to blocking pain, artificial endorphins make the user feel good. But, excessive opioid use makes the brain depend on the created artificial endorphins.

Once the brain becomes dependent on the artificial endorphins, the natural production of this hormone stops. When a person uses opioids longer, their chances of developing an addiction increases. That’s because drug tolerance will set in overtime. This is when the body becomes used to the drug’s effects. Thus, the response of the body to drugs and alcohol is diminished due to prolonged or repeated exposure to it.

If this happens, a person needs professional assistance to overcome opioid addiction. That’s when the addict or their loved one should call a drug addiction helpline to get professional assistance.

Preventing Opioid Addiction

One way to prevent opioid addiction is to use prescription medication safely or according to the instructions of the doctor. However, addiction chances remain high when these drugs are used to manage pain for a long time. Therefore, patients should avoid using opioids for longer than one week. When opioids are used for a month or longer, the chances of developing an addiction are very high.

The Bottom Line

Opioid addiction is a major reason why many people call rehab numbers seeking emergency assistance. Nevertheless, this addiction can be avoided by following the doctor’s instructions and avoiding the use of opioids for more than a month.