Those who have a loved one struggling with opioid addiction know the effects of opioids on the body can be life-saving. Many times, parents, siblings, or friends can identify these effects. By watching the signs when they appear, family and friends can better help those with addiction. Although the effects of opioids on the human body are hardly noticeable at first, they often grow to become more severe. Sadly, if the opioid user goes without help, the long-term effects of opioids on the body can be disastrous in the end. The mental results are also a challenge by themselves.
There is no doubt about the problem of opioid use disorders in society. In 2018, the United States reported 14,975 opioid overdose deaths throughout the country. As alarming as this statistic is, there are ways to stop and escape addiction. When suffering from an addiction, many people feel lost and empty. However, there is always hope when someone asks for help.
You Are Not Alone
The side effects on the human body when suffering from an addiction can be problematic. But, you are not alone in your struggle. If you are trying to help someone with an addiction, then knowing these facts is crucial. There is no need to suffer any longer. When you call us, you will be in contact with an addiction specialist right away. Together, let’s figure out what is best for you or your friend. Don’t wait. Call 626-602-2966 now.
To begin, understanding what opioids are can help in the fight.
Another word for opioids is “narcotics”. This is usually how the Drug Enforcement Administration refers to them. According to the DEA, the definition of narcotics is:
Also known as “opioids,” the term “narcotic” comes from the Greek word for “stupor” and originally referred to a variety of substances that dulled the senses and relieved pain. Though some people still refer to all drugs as “narcotics,” today “narcotic” refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic
substitutes. A more current term for these drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is “opioid.”
Examples include the illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin®, Vicodin®, codeine,
morphine, methadone, and fentanyl.
As the quote states, opioids relieve pain. This pain relief comes in handy after surgery, dental work, or cancer diagnosis. But sometimes it can lead to addiction. The most common opioid on the street is, of course, heroin. Heroin has many different names. For example, smack, horse, mud, brown sugar, big H, and black tat are just a few of them.
Also, many opioids are available by prescription. Doctors can give them out in various forms, for instance:
- Skin Patches
- Chunks in varying colors
- Liquid form
- Oral Use
Although these may all be for different pain types, they are all official treatment methods for opioids. But, they all show the effects of opioids on the body.
The Effects of Opioids on the Human Body
There are various ways in which opioids affect the human body. These include biological, psychological, and physical factors. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from opioid addiction, then call us today. Our specialists will help you get the help that is needed. Do not hesitate. Call us today.
Biological Effects of Opioids on the Body
With any addiction, the brain’s biological response results in dependency. This is because neurotransmitters grow accustomed to the addictive substance. In a sense, the brain biologically rewires itself to rely on the external substance rather than the natural chemicals. An article from the National Institutes of Health describes these brain changes:
Opioids affect nerve cells (neurons) in your brain and body. They tell your brain to block pain and they also make you feel calm and happy.
While these organic effects feel great in the short term, they can lead to a lot of pain down the road. Examples of this are the long-term effects of opioids on the body. When addiction occurs for more extended periods, hormone changes also occur. With these hormonal changes, people suffering from opioid addiction experience exhaustion and infertility. Also, long term use of opioids can result in a defeat of the immune system, thus making diseases and illnesses harder to fight off.
If you have a loved one who you believe is suffering from opioid addiction, look up some common biological signs. They may tire quickly or be indifferent. Similarly, they may be chronically ill because of poor immune health. Even though these signs might be general, linking them with psychological symptoms will also help.
Psychological Effects of Opioids on the Body
One of the biggest psychological effects of opioids on the body is the development of Opioid Use Disorder. In other words, opioid addiction is a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association states:
Opioid use disorder is a chronic lifelong disorder, with serious potential consequences including disability, relapses, and death. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition describes opioid use disorder as a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to problems or distress.
Classifying addiction as a mental illness is something that has only happened within the last decade or so. The justification for adding it to the DSM- V was the biological component that comes with dependency. However, this biological component often manifests itself as behavioral symptoms. Spotting the signs can further help people identify an opioid addiction.
Typically, with Opioid Use Disorder, the signs are:
- Mental Confusion
- Using opioids longer than what the doctor intends
- Having trouble trying to stop using
- Trouble functioning in everyday life
- Ending relationships
- Giving up activities or interests
- Putting oneself in dangerous situations
- Needing more to achieve a high
Addiction to any substance is very difficult. The biological and psychological effects of opioids on the human body are hard enough. Notwithstanding, there are physical effects of opioids on the body as well.
Physical Effects of Opioids on the Body
You’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between an effect being physical and biological. “Biological effects” refers to how opioids change the human body at a base level. Whereas physical effects are illnesses or impairments that come from opioid use. The physical effects of opioids on the body are significant. as they can affect your sleeping patterns and your heart.
Considering that sleep is important for any mental illness, it isn’t very helpful that the long term effects of Opioid Use Disorder include sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder causes repeated stops and starts in breathing throughout the night. Many times, when someone suffers from this, they tend to be groggy in the morning and especially tired throughout the day.
Long term effects of opioids on the body also include heart problems and heart damage. This is in part due to the sleep apnea as well as some other effects of the drug.
It goes without saying that the effects of opioids on the body are negative in the long term. However, if you receive a prescription for opioids because of surgery or dental work, you’re probably wondering what the side effects of opioids on the body are for short-term users.
Do not deal with the consequences of opioid addiction alone. Call us today and our professionals will work with you. Never feel judgment or embarrassment, and always feel welcome. Call today and you can get the help you need.
Side Effects of Opioids on the Body
The side effects of opioids on the body are not the same as the addictive, long-term, or negative effects. In fact, these are normal even for those who use opioids as prescribed. These side effects include:
- Questionable Judgment
- Itching: Relief from this can come from reducing the dose or talking with your doctor about switching to a different medication
- Constipation: To help with this, try to drink more fluids, get more exercise, and eat foods with extra fiber. If it gets too painful, try stool softeners.
- A little tolerance to the medication
- Increased sensitivity to pain
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these side effects. Even though they are completely normal and come along with any opioids, there still may be something that can help. Call us today, and our professionals can also be of assistance.
Negative Effects of Opioids on the Body
Overall, you’re probably wondering: “what are the negative effects of opioids on the body?” You most likely want to know this so you can help your friend or loved one receive help for their opioid addiction. Although more detail will be provided in subsequent sections, here are the general effects.
- Brain changes
- Hormonal changes
- Addiction and dependency
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Sleep problems
- Heart conditions
- Normal side effects such as constipation and itchiness
Call our experts today if you need help battling the effects of addiction. No matter what you are going through, it is important to know that you are not alone. Call us today and we will help you start a healthier life. Do not hesitate.
Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and Addiction
Like any other addiction or any disease for that matter, opioid addiction treatment needs a personal approach. By the same token, not every treatment will work for every patient. The American Psychiatric Association states:
Different levels of treatment may be needed by different individuals or at different times – outpatient counseling, intensive outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, or long-term therapeutic communities. Opioid use disorder often requires continuing care to be effective.
Luckily, with rehab treatment centers that offer individualized treatment plans for every patient, the rate of success is always rising. This is because of the increasing quality of the treatments they use. For example, some rehab centers now have FDA approval to prescribe medicines that counteract the effects of opioids on the body. These medications include:
- Methadone – This prescription medication prevents withdrawal symptoms and establishes a reduction in cravings. It does not cause feelings of being high once patients adapt to it.
- Buprenorphine – This helps by blocking the effects of other opioids and reducing cravings. However, it needs administration by a doctor or other trained professional.
- Naltrexone – It comes in the form of a monthly injection and blocks the effects of other opioids, thus preventing euphoria.
Along with this, there are plenty of psychotherapies that can help. Group counseling and individual therapy usually provide the patient with knowledge and support.
Ask for Help
The effects of opioids on the body can be devastating in the long term. With these effects ranging from heart problems to brain changes, no user is completely safe, and addicts are greatly at risk. Nevertheless, you do not have to live in addiction. You can always ask for help or approach your friend who needs aid. If you want to receive help, but are too embarrassed to reach out to someone you know, then call us today. You will never be judged, no never feel embarrassed when talking to our experts. Call us today, and we can get you the help you need now.