Beach House Center for Recovery offers a compassionate, safe, and nurturing environment for people seeking freedom from opioid addiction. We proudly provide comprehensive, medically supervised care tailored to the individual needs of a diverse population of patients at our state-of-the-art addiction treatment campus.
What is Opioid Addiction?
The term “opioid” refers to a class of painkillers or narcotics interacting with opioid receptors in the brain. They are either extracted from the poppy plant or synthesized in a laboratory. Although the term “opiate” is sometimes used interchangeably with “opioid,” opiates only describe drugs that were derived from poppies, not synthetic medications or narcotics.
Opioid drugs are overwhelmingly prescribed to treat acute pain, but they might be used for other medical purposes, such as suppressing severe coughing or treating diarrhea. Because of their extremely high potential for addiction, prescription opioid use should be monitored closely and never used as a long-term solution.
The following are some of the most common medical-grade or brand-name opioid drugs:
Though many opioids are available in a prescription form, some are explicitly produced for street use. Heroin is a type of opioid that’s illicitly manufactured and dispensed. It is frequently taken in place of prescription painkillers because it’s cheaper and often easier to access.
Because heroin is made illegally and consumed dangerously (injected, smoked, or snorted through the nose), there is a significantly greater risk of overdose, experiencing severe medical reactions, or being infected with potentially lethal diseases like HIV. Heroin is also likely to contain highly toxic additives or additional narcotics.
Addiction and misuse are potential side effects of all opioids. Moreover, when used in conjunction with alcohol, stimulants like cocaine, or other substances, there are a variety of potentially dangerous reactions and consequences.
Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
When opioid molecules circulate through the blood and enter the brain, they attach to receptors on the surface of specific cells. Physiologically, the subsequent reaction initiated in the brain’s reward center mimics the pleasure response. This response occurs because opioids trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine unleashes a euphoric sensation that the user might want to repeat. However, the quantities released from opioid use are far greater than what would occur naturally.
If opioids are used continually, the body eventually adapts, causing the user to require higher doses to produce the original experience. Over time, constant use affects the body’s ability to self-regulate, and dependency occurs. As increased dosages are needed to achieve the desired effect of the drug, the chance of accidental overdose greatly increases.
Each individual’s case is unique, but generally speaking, opioid addiction involves both physiological and psychological components. Symptoms of the condition might be so gradual that they go unnoticed until they become difficult to ignore.
Warning signs that someone might need opioid addiction treatment include:
- Excessive or prolonged use of the drug
- Attempts to reduce or control drug use that has failed
- Extensive efforts in acquiring, using, and recovering from drugs
- Extreme urges to use the drug
- Inability to perform duties at work, school, or home as a result of drug use
- Recurring or ongoing personal or social challenges caused by drug use
- Using drugs in circumstances that could lead to significant personal harm, such as while driving
- Using the drug regardless of resulting physical and emotional deterioration
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms after cessation of drug use
- Abandoning important or valued activities to use or acquire the drug
- Requiring increased dosages to achieve the desired effect of the drug
Indications that a friend or loved one might be struggling with opioid addiction include the following signs:
- Mental impairment
- Dramatic mood fluctuations
- Extreme drowsiness
- Constantly seeking prescription medications or claiming they lost their prescription
- Taking an opioid medication in unprescribed or non-medical ways (snorting or injecting)
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Engaging in high-risk behavior
Opioid addiction leads to dependency very quickly. An opioid-dependent individual cannot stop taking the drug for fear of experiencing debilitating withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include the following:
- Intense pain in the muscles and bones
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disruptions
- Muscle spasms
Opioid withdrawal symptoms intensify as the use of the substance increases.
Opioid withdrawal is generally not as life-threatening as suddenly stopping alcohol or benzodiazepines. Nevertheless, untreated medical complications, such as severe vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration can lead to a medical crisis during unsupervised detox. Going through detoxification under close medical supervision is vital to ensuring a safe and comfortable process.
Beach House Center for Recovery: Opioid Addiction Treatment Approach
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid dependency, you’re right to be concerned. At Beach House, we offer a customized treatment program with a low patient-to-therapist ratio to address the core factors contributing to opioid addiction. Our specialized opioid addiction treatment programs include holistic bio-bed biosound therapy, massage therapy, meditation and yoga.
The team at Beach House is at the forefront of the latest opioid treatment innovations. Under the appropriate guidance and with dedicated clinical support, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) gives many patients a highly effective addiction solution that can dramatically reduce the likelihood of reusing opioids. To further that goal, our alumni program provides ongoing support throughout the recovery journey.
At Beach House, we believe the opposite of addiction is love and connection. Learn to love yourself again, discover the powerful connections within the recovery community, and find freedom from addiction. For additional information, contact our compassionate and helpful admissions counselors today.