Opioids are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. They are derived from opium which comes from the poppy plant. Opioids go by a variety of names including opiates, opioids, and narcotics. The term opiates is sometimes used for close relatives of opium such as codeine, morphine and heroin, while the term opioids is used for the entire class of drugs including synthetic opiates such as Oxycontin.
When people take a stable, regular and appropriate dose, maintenance medications don’t cause impairment. When people with no history of drug addiction appropriately use narcotics at prescribed doses to control pain, they are relatively unlikely to become addicted to the drug. Additionally, in people with no history of addiction who take opiates for chronic pain, studies have not found clear-cut predictors of who is more or less likely to eventually abuse their pain killers. For these reasons, narcotic abuse is one of the most common forms of drug abuse in the U.S.
A property of opioid drugs is their tendency, when used repeatedly over time, to induce tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the person no longer responds to the drug as strongly as he or she did at first, therefore needing a higher dose to achieve the same effect. Tolerance depends on the ability of the abused opioids to desensitize the brain’s own natural opioid system, making it less responsive over time. The less the natural response, the more opioid is needed to get the high effect. Thus starts the addiction cycle.
Opioids provide an intoxicating high when injected or taken orally in high doses. Opioids are also powerful anxiety relievers. If a person uses opioids for a long time, they often can develop physical dependence and tolerance. Usually, opioid abusers will then take more of the drug, to continue to get high. If a person stops using opioids after they become physically dependent on the drug, they will experience drug withdrawal symptoms.
Statistics show an increase in the number of people who are dying from overdoses, predominantly after abuse of prescribed opioid analgesics. This disturbing trend appears to be associated with a growing number of prescriptions from the legal market. Education is a critical component of any effort to curb the abuse of prescription medications and must target every segment of society, including doctors who prescribe opioids for pain relief.
What starts off as innocent pain relief can quickly become an addiction. Are you addicted to pain medications? If you are unsure if you have an addiction, a fast and easy place to begin is a prescription drug evaluation. A prescription drug evaluation will help you to determine if you are using your medications appropriately.
Evaluations can be offered face to face or there are a number of professionals offering evaluations through email and phone. Centerofsolutions.net is offering a variety of evaluations that you can take in the privacy of your own home. The forms are emailed to you or faxed, you complete the forms and get them back and a licensed therapist will complete your evaluation. Your report is emailed, mailed or faxed back to you. It doesn’t get much easier than that. If there is any doubt in how you are using your prescription medications, get help immediately to stop the addiction cycle.