Medical Effects of Long-Term Opioid Addiction

Medical Effects of Long-Term Opioid Addiction
Medical Effects of Long-Term Opioid Addiction

Opioid-abuse is at epidemic levels in the US driven by a sharp rise in prescription drug abuse. There is now a whole new demographic of addict who started their journey in the physician’s office seeking treatment for chronic pain. Opioid painkillers are extremely potent and carry a significant risk of developing addiction and increasingly, people are becoming dependent without even realizing. Although there is a difference between someone who chose to take opioids for recreational purposes and another who was prescribed them, the dangers remain the same.

The Effects of Long-Term Opioid Addiction

As with all other substances, the longer a person abuses them, the more damage they are likely to do to their health. However, it is extremely difficult to break the addictive cycle created by potent drugs like opioids without professional treatment. This is because of the way opioids work to create the effects and the chemical changes they cause to the brain. People who have abused opioids for a prolonged period of time risk developing permanent brain damage.

Opioids are essentially synthetic heroin and they are as equally addictive as their illegal counterpart. When someone uses heroin or an opioid, the brain’s neurotransmitters are interrupted to send signals of intense pleasure to the body. It is the way opioids work that makes them effective in treating acute or chronic pain and indeed, heroin has been used for hundreds of years to do exactly the same. However, the effects on the body’s respiratory, coronary, nervous and immune systems can be significant and long-lasting.

When taken for a long period of time, opioids can cause severe damage to how an individual’s body operates. Medical research shows that persistent opioid abuse smoothens the gastrointestinal muscles which can lead to acute constipation. This is a potential side effect when opioids are taken in any form although it becomes progressively riskier as time passes.

Get Help for Addiction Treatment at Casa Recovery in Orange County

Prescription opioids and heroin are highly addictive substances that usually require professional treatment when they have been abused. The effects of long-term opioid addiction are significant although there are several paths to recovery that can prevent more serious conditions from developing. If you are concerned about opioid addiction effects and feel that you need help, reach out to Casa Recovery for drug addiction treatment in San Juan Capistrano and take a step closer to a substance-free future today.


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Casa Recovery offers a wide range of treatment options for those struggling with mental health and co-occurring issues. We are here for you and ready to assist in any way we can. Contact us right now to get the help you deserve from a group of people who care.