What are Opioids?
Drugs classified as opioids include opiates such heroin and morphine which are derived from naturally occurring opium poppy plants, as well as synthetically manufactured opioid pain relievers.
All opioids bind to one or more of the three opioid receptors in the body and produce an anesthetic, euphoric effect. Both prescription pain relievers and illegal opioids can be used illicitly to “get high”.
What medications are Opioids?
Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®,
Zohydro® ER, Lorcet®
Ultram, Ultram® ER, Ultracet®
Tylenol with Codeine® 3 or 4
Opana®, Opana® ER
What are the symptoms of Opioid misuse or withdrawal?
It can be difficult to determine if someone is misusing opioids, especially if they were prescribed by a physician for pain from an injury or illness. Opioid use symptoms can be both physical and psychological, and can be identified if you know what to look for.
Opioid withdrawal can occur very quickly after someone stops taking opioids for any length of time. Experiencing withdrawals symptoms is a very strong indication that someone may be misusing their medication.
Physical Signs of Opioid Use
- Drowsiness, lack of energy
- Nodding off or losing consciousness
- Restricted pupils
- Slowed, shallow breathing
- Constant scratching
- Nausea, vomiting
- “Track marks” or scars from use of needles
Behavioral Signs of Opioid Use
- Unusual elation or euphoria
- Sudden, dramatic mood swings
- Dishonesty, secrecy
- Sudden financial problems
- Issues with work and family
- Legal issues, arrests
- Not keeping commitments
- Noticeable changes in routine
- Taking more medication than prescribed
- Visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for opioids
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
- Runny nose
- Muscle cramps
- Increased heart rate
What is psychological addiction?
An addiction can begin after an illness or medical procedure, or with the recreational use of drugs. No matter how an addiction began, most individuals who struggle with opioid use disorder began to, at some point, depend on their drug of choice to help them deal with the challenges of life. Using opioids as the solution to problems, stress or negative situations is the psychological part of addiction. The feelings of euphoria help people to forget their troubles, and when these things pop back up in life, the reaction is to use more of the drugs to control those negative feelings.
Addiction can often seem impossible to conquer because of the powerful combination of physical and psychological aspects of the disease, but with the right treatment program and support system, recovery is possible.
BAART Programs Can Help
In practice for almost 40 years, BAART’s medical, clinical and administrative staff clearly understand what a patient in treatment needs to successfully overcome opiate use disorder and live happier, healthier and more productive lives. That experience is shown through individualized treatment plans, offering each patient an effective dose of medication alongside proven tools such as motivational interviewing and group counseling. With this harm reduction approach, BAART has helped patients nationwide to reclaim their lives.