Opioids are narcotic drugs that produce drowsiness and pain relief. Organic opioids derive from a certain species of poppy, while synthetic opioids are created in a lab to produce the same effects. While some opioids are illegal to use, others are frequently prescribed as pain killers. This can lead to dependence on the drug requiring opioid addiction treatment Altoona PA.
It can be difficult to know when you or a loved one is addicted to opioids and in need of help. Here are some signs to watch for in yourself or anyone else you think may have a problem.
- Behavioral Problems
Opioids can cause a person to act in unusual ways. You may notice changes in sleeping patterns and mood swings. People who use opioids may isolate themselves from others and show less motivation to do things. They may experience psychological symptoms of anxiety attacks or depression. Because they have to obtain more drugs, which are expensive, they may frequently be in financial hardship.
- Physical Symptoms
Opioids can disrupt signals to the nerves in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, people who use or abuse opioids frequently experience constipation. A person who is high on opioids typically experiences extreme drowsiness and may exhibit slurred speech, uncontrollable shaking, sweating, and loss of coordination when trying to move.
- Long-Term Complications
Prolonged use of opioids can result in chronic conditions. Long-term use can damage vital organs, including the heart and the brain. Damage to the brain could cause mental health disorders to develop. For example, prolonged use of opioids can cause the brain to produce fewer endorphins. As a result, an individual may experience anhedonia, or inability to feel pleasure. Muscle weakness or cramping can also result from misuse of opioids.
Opioid addiction is not a sign of weakness or profligacy. It is recognized as a legitimate disease, one that can be treated if not cured.