Opioids are a powerful group of medications that are used in pain management programs. These potent drugs are commonly used to help alleviate the pain and discomfort as the result of major surgeries as well as diseases such as cancer. Opioids are very effective medications, but they also carry a high potential for addiction even if used as prescribed by medical personnel. For those attempting to stop using opioids, the withdrawal symptoms they experience are often painful and harrowing.
This article will further outline what opioid medications are and how they affect the body. We will also explore the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and the importance of finding an opioid detox program to quit using opioids in a safe manner. Call Grace Recovery toll-free right now if you need opioid or heroin detox in Southern California.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that have potent analgesic properties. These drugs are derived from the poppy plant’s seeds, most commonly found in Asia and in countries such as Afghanistan. The most common opioid medication people are most familiar with includes the following:
Opioids also include illegal street drugs such as heroin, morphine, codeine, and opium.
As already stated, opioids are an effective tool in helping people manage the pain associated with surgeries and disease. These potent medications are designed for short-term use and are prescribed by experienced medical personnel. Because of the high addiction potential, patients are closely monitored, and their dosages are often changed depending on how they react to these medications. Even under close medical supervision, people can become dependent and even addicted to opioids.
How Do Opioids Affect the Body?
When administered, opioid drugs bind to specific receptors called opioid receptors. These receptors are found in the brain as well as the stomach and spinal cord. These medications bind to these receptors and release large amounts of dopamine in the brain. Also, these medications block pain messages from transmitting through the body. As a result, people feel relaxed and calm and will feel a profound sense of euphoria.
The pleasurable effects of taking opioids can be strongly reinforcing for the brain’s reward centers. As a result, people who use these drugs want to take opioids again to recreate those euphoric feelings. Over time, opioids take over dopamine production, and the brain will cease producing dopamine on its own. Eventually, people will take these medications to function on a daily basis.
What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?
For those who become dependent on opioids, their natural response is to try and curb their intake or stop using these medications altogether. Since opioids significantly impact brain chemistry and functioning, the absence of these medications will create a sense of havoc in the brain. As a result, both the brain and body will experience withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to endure.
The most common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include runny nose, irritability, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and sleep disturbances. Other opioid withdrawal symptoms include rapid heart rate, blood pressure changes, and restlessness. Additional symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include tremors, muscle twitching, increased pain, and thoughts of suicide. While these symptoms may not be life-threatening on their own, they can become life-threatening if other drugs are abused, or if people have underlying medical conditions. This is why it is crucial that people seek the professional help of an opioid detox program.
How to Find an Opioid Detox Program in Los Angeles, CA
If you are struggling with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, an opioid detox program allows you to taper off opioids in a safe manner safely. Grace Recovery is one of the pre-eminent opioid detox and treatment centers in Southern California. Our evidence-based approach, individualized treatment programs, and compassionate staff will help you address and overcome your addiction to opioids in a supportive and nurturing environment.
In addition to opioid detox and treatment, Grace Recovery offers multiple levels of care, including Los Angeles dual diagnosis treatment for those struggling with mental illness in addiction to a substance abuse issue. Our holistic approach will heal you in mind, body, and spirit. Make today the day you break free from the grip of opioid addiction. Call Grace Recovery today.