Opioid Addiction

Opioids release an excess of dopamine in the brain causing a continuous need of opioids to the opioid receptors . Most opioid including heroin and Oxycontin, are short acting opiate, meaning the “high” lasts 2-3 hours. Therefor, a person addicted to opiates will experience the beginning of the withdrawal symptoms within 2-3 hours.To relieve the withdrawal symptoms, opiate addicts will use again, continuing the cycle of abuse.

During active use, the opiate addict is unable to focus on anything else but relieving the withdrawal symptoms. Traditional drug free treatment modalities have not been effective with this population due to the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced.

Side Effects of Opioid Addiction:

Mood side effects:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoric mood for a few hours
  • Irritability

Behavioral side effects:

  • Forging prescriptions for opiates
  • Stealing narcotics from friends and family
  • Robbing pharmacies and other medication dispensaries
  • Not fulfilling familial and other responsibilities
  • Decreased performance at job or school
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using, and recovering from usage of opiates
  • Lying to others to cover the amount of drug taken
  • Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities
  • Social isolation
  • Restlessness, Lethargy, Exhaustion

Physical side effects:

  • Exhaustion
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Nausea,Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Coma, Death

Psychological side effects:

  • Addiction
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations, Delusions, Paranoia
  • Mental Health Deterioration
  • Decrease in emotional well-being

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