For centuries, healers have relied on opiates, chemicals derived from the sap of the opium poppy, to help people manage pain during and immediately after surgery. Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract, preventing people from experiencing physical pain and psychological distress.
Opioids slow down, or depress, the central nervous system. When taken at high enough doses, opioids shut down the body’s essential functions. They also prevent people from developing the cognitive and psychological skills they need in order to cope with life’s obstacles. Long-term, steadily increasing opioid use prevents people from thinking clearly and functioning independently. If a person you care about is losing their battle with opioid addiction, our Murrieta substance abuse treatment programs offer residential treatment for substance use disorder and mental health concerns.
How Do Opioids Affect the Brain?
Opioids can be smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed. When they enter the bloodstream, they bind to opioid receptors. These receptors control vital bodily and psychological functioning, including digestions, mood regulation, breathing, hunger, and pain sensation. Opioids cause a temporary sense of relief, pleasure, lowered breathing and heart rate, and slower digestion, among other effects. Because opioids directly interact with critical receptors in the brain and interfere with people’s ability to solve problems, they can become habit-forming relatively quickly. Examples of addictive opioids include:
- Fentanyl & carfentanil
As the body becomes accustomed to opioids’ presence, people require higher and higher dosages to feel the same effects. This is known as tolerance. And it is a common factor among most addictive substances. Withdrawing from opioids like fentanyl can cause severe symptoms that resemble the symptoms of a psychotic break. The first step in fighting opioid addiction is entering a medical detox facility. Doctors need to be able to monitor your symptoms 24-7 in order to determine the best course of action. When people finish detox, the best step is entering an inpatient rehabilitation center. It isn’t easy to convince people that opioids are causing them harm, but if you can get them into treatment, these topics will be covered during rehab seminars.
Signs a Person Needs to Attend Drug Rehab
Because opioids are dangerously addictive, it’s critical to know the warning signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder if you suspect that your loved one is currently using these drugs. Opioid use causes a web of complicated health problems that become increasingly difficult to treat as people age. Developing a tolerance to opioids causes people to increase their dosages. All opioids are addictive, but synthetic opioids like fentanyl are especially deadly. A person who has developed an unhealthy dependence on opioids will not be able to connect their current health and emotional problems with their use of opioids. In order to recover from opioid addiction, people need to be carefully weaned off harmful drugs and a safe, welcoming, life-affirming environment. Symptoms of an addiction to fentanyl or other opioids include:
- Lethargy and unexplained exhaustion
- Emotion dysregulation
- Cognition and speech impairments
- Depression and anxiety
- Aversion to physical activity
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Lost ability to manage responsibilities
- Nightly insomnia
- Sudden mood changes and irritability
- Appetite changes
- Difficulty urinating
- Lack of interest in friends and hobbies
- Decline in personal hygiene
- Constant preoccupation with medication
- Trouble standing upright or balancing
Fear of Opioid Detox Keeps People Out of Drug Rehab
When the body becomes dependent on having opioids in the bloodstream and brain, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop using them without rehabilitation assistance. Trying to quit opioids “cold turkey” can trigger significant and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Our Murrieta drug rehab provides medical assistance in the following programs:
- Inpatient detox
- Residential rehab
- Outpatient rehab
- Sober living options
Contact Rise Above to get rehabilitation information about our opioid treatment programs by calling 855.948.6325.