Opioid abuse, such as prescription pain pills and heroin, is a growing problem in the United States. Misuse of opioids has become so prevalent that it is commonly referred to as “the opioid crisis.” Many different drugs fall under the classification of an opioid. Some have legitimate medical purposes, usually for pain management, while others exist only as illicit recreational drugs. In either case, opioids are highly addictive, and even users who strictly follow their doctor’s orders risk dependency. Opioid addiction affects not only people’s health but also the economic welfare of societies.
If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, you need a reputable drug and alcohol rehab center. San Antonio Recovery Center has an opioid addiction treatment program and compassionate, experienced staff who can help you or a loved one start the journey towards an addiction-free life. Call today at 866.957.7885.
The Rise of Opioid Addiction
Opioid abuse is on the rise, thanks to how easy it is for people to get these drugs. In fact, studies show that most opioid misuse starts with legitimate prescriptions from doctors. In 1991, physicians around the world handed out nearly 76 million opioid prescriptions. This number jumped to over 207 million in 2013.
Americans are the biggest contributors to this increase. The country represents approximately 5% of the world’s population but consumes over 80% of the world’s opioids while accounting for nearly 100% of the world’s total hydrocodone usage. People know this drug better as its brand name Vicodin, but other popular brands include Norco and Lortab. Also, the nation accounts for 81% of all oxycodone prescriptions such as OxyContin and Percocet. It is easy to understand why the rampant use of opioids in the United States is called a “crisis.”
How Opioids Impact the Body and Brain
Opioid addiction typically starts when doctors prescribe these drugs. Vicodin and OxyContin help treat moderate to severe pain. Doctors often prescribe opioid medications to people who undergo surgery or are in serious accidents.
Opioids attach themselves to opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors are also present in the spinal cord, nerve cells, and gastrointestinal tract. After attaching, the drugs cause the receptors to block pain and send signals of well-being to the brain that manifest as euphoria.
Beyond addiction, opioids cause a number of other problems. Some of the common side effects of opioid use include:
- Mental confusion
Doctors typically take precautions to keep people from developing an opioid addiction. For example, they may limit the number of refills that they give patients. However, some people develop an addiction anyway, and soon they are running out of pills before it is time for a refill. This can lead to drug-seeking behavior, such as borrowing or stealing pills from friends and relatives to tide them over until they can refill.
When doctors refuse to refill prescriptions, those struggling with an opioid addiction may engage in “doctor shopping.” They visit new doctors until they find one who will refill their prescription. This practice continues until they exhaust all of the doctors in their area. From there, they usually move on to illegal street drugs such as heroin, which is also an opiate.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction is hard to overcome. One reason for this difficulty is the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that people experience when they stop taking the drug. While withdrawal symptoms make it hard to quit, addiction is also a disease. Rather than something that people can control, addiction controls them.
Some common opioid withdrawal symptoms include
- Muscle Aches
The severity of these symptoms varies depending on numerous factors. For example, the longer that people take opioids, the more intense their withdrawal symptoms will be.
In addition, some opioids spawn worse withdrawal symptoms. For example, heroin often has more severe withdrawal symptoms than prescription pain pills. This is because heroin is an illegal street drug with no quality control. Heroin makers often lace it with other drugs, including other forms of opioids, resulting in an overdose since the potency is greater than expected.
Getting Help for Your Addiction
At San Antonio Recovery Center, we pride ourselves on not being just another drug and alcohol rehab center. We believe that people need a full spectrum of treatment options. This approach differs from rehab centers that purely focus on one area of recovery, which isn’t particularly effective.
We also strive to make opioid addiction affordable. We don’t want the price to stop people from getting the help that they desperately need. Making our services affordable means that we get to help more individuals confront addiction.
San Antonio Recovery Center provides a wide range of services. These services all benefit from our 12-step philosophy. Some of our services include:
- 90-day treatment program
- Residential treatment program
- Aftercare program
- Intensive outpatient program
Don’t let opioid addiction control your life any longer. Find out how San Antonio Recovery Center can help you down the road to recovery. Contact us today at 866.957.7885 for more information about our addiction rehab programs.