Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Opioid Rehab & Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
What Is Opioid Addiction?
Some of the most addictive, and overprescribed, medications are opioid pain pills. Opioids are especially addictive because they hijack the brain’s reward system by flooding you with endorphins and dopamine — chemicals responsible for pain relief, happiness, and even euphoria. But forcing this reaction is unsustainable, and “uses up” these chemicals, leading to increased dependence and higher tolerance: the two main components of addiction.
The most commonly abused opioids include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
- Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
Your body quickly develops a tolerance to opioids, meaning you’ll constantly require more of the drug to achieve the same effects — or even feel normal. This explains why even those who follow their prescribed dose perfectly can still end up becoming addicted.
When people lose access to pain pills — their prescription runs out, or they’re too expensive or unavailable on the street — many seek out more affordable and accessible opioids: heroin and fentanyl. Heroin is exponentially more potent than opioid pills; fentanyl is even more powerful; and fentanyl is cheaper to produce, so heroin is often cut with this far stronger substance. As a result, changing substances is extremely dangerous.
Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Someone addicted to opioids starts to show signs of physical dependence when not actively using, like headaches, nausea, sweating, restlessness, and more. Mental health and behavioral symptoms include intense cravings, anxiety, depression, withdrawal from loved ones, and taking unsafe risks. And a dead giveaway: more frequent and increased substance use.
Long Term Effects of Opioid Abuse
Opioid abuse does tremendous physical and mental damage over time. You may experience impaired memory and focus, sensitivity to pain, difficulty breathing, low oxygen levels, stomach bleeding, osteoporosis and bone fracture, and heart failure. And in addition to these long-term threats to your health, opioid abuse can lead to fatal overdose.
If you’re a woman who uses opioids while pregnant, you and your child’s health are at risk: they’re more likely to have birth defects, developmental difficulties, premature or still birth, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) — where they experience withdrawal symptoms when born.
And of course, in addition to taking your health and even life, opioid addiction wreaks havoc on your personal life: it can damage your relationships, finances, career, and all future plans.
Opioid Detox and Withdrawal
Detoxing from opioids can be intense on the body, and even dangerous when unmoderated, due to withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, rapid heart rate, fever, sweating, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe gastrointestinal issues. Your tolerance also decreases, increasing the odds that any relapse leads to overdose.
To give yourself the most support and greatest chance of success, it’s best to start your detox under the care of professionals who can monitor you, manage your discomfort, and ensure you’re safe and healthy as you take this important step. At New Day Recovery Center, we’ll be at your side during your entire detox process. Medication-assisted treatment is available through our inpatient Winchester location and our outpatient Lexington facility from Lexington Suboxone Doctor, and we’ll connect you with a medical detox facility as needed.
We’ll help relieve withdrawal symptoms, limit your risk of relapse, and empower you to focus on your recovery with the right foot forward.
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