Opioids are active ingredients in the types of prescription painkillers behind America’s current substance abuse epidemic. This is mainly because opioids are essentially a synthetic form of heroin, an illegal and highly-addictive street drug. Heroin in its purest form is derived from the opium poppy and it has been used for centuries as a type of anesthetic or painkiller for trauma patients.
The way opioids work to alleviate pain is by flooding the brain with dopamine which interrupts the brain’s signals to the body. The substance essentially distracts the person from pain signals elsewhere in the body by creating intensely pleasurable sensations. Because of the potency and addictive properties of opioids, physicians are generally reluctant to prescribe them for chronic or long-term pain conditions.
When someone regularly uses a drug, their bodies become used to receiving stimulus from it. Depending on the volume and frequency of use, people find themselves having to use progressively more in order to get the same effects they experienced in the early days of using opioids. This is when a person is most vulnerable to becoming addicted to opioids, as they are driving by a compulsion to increase their dose without seeking a physician’s advice.
If a person has become tolerant to opioids, they will find themselves experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms when their effects wear off. This is because the body has begun to crave its regular fix of the drug and withdrawal symptoms are quickly alleviated if the person uses again. This results in a negative cycle of abusing opioids to relieve withdrawal, which is very difficult to break out of without professional help.
CASA Recovery offers professional drug addiction treatment in Orange County. Our treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of every patient entering our care. If you are having problems with prescription painkillers or simply need advice if you’ve been prescribed them, contact us today. Together, we can overcome opioids addiction, restore a healthy balance and enjoy a substance-free future.