Opioids comprise a group of drugs that are utilized for pain treatment and management. These drugs are derived from opium that originates from poppy plants. Opiates, on the other hand, refer to slightly modified or natural components of opium such heroin, morphine, and codeine. “Opioids” was a term originally used to describe opiates such as Fentanyl and Oxycontin. Today, it is used to describe the entire class of drugs. Narcotics is an old term. It was used to describe drugs that contained mind-altering compounds and sleep-inducing properties. The first step of overcoming opioid addiction in Richmond, Virginia is to understand how the drug works, why it is dangerous, and who to contact for help.
What are the Common Types of Opioids?
Opioids are often identified by their generic names. The most common ones include:
- Hydromorphone: Dilaudid
- Morphine: Kadian and MS Contin
- Hydrocodone: Hycodan and Vicodin
- Oxycodone: Percoset and Oxycontin
- Fentanyl: Duragesic
How do People Get Addicted to Opioids?
Euphoria and a heightened sense of wellbeing are things that opioids can produce. People can easily become addicted to these feelings of pleasure. Even when the drug is used for pain relief, people tend to develop a tolerance to the drug. This tolerance buildup leads them to taking more and more of the same drug to get the same effect. Unfortunately, some people go on to develop an opioid addiction. They start to obsessively think about getting more opioid medication, even resorting to illegal means.
Why is Opioid Addiction Dangerous?
High doses of opioids can lead to cardiac or respiratory arrest (death). Some people may overdose by mistake due to their attempts of getting a higher high. Intravenous naltrexone can reverse opioid overdose. That is why contacting emergency medical services upon noticing signs that a drug overdose is imminent is of utmost importance.
How to Know if Someone is Addicted to Opioids
You need to keep an eye out for one or more of the following signs. They may occur at the same time:
- The person fails to cut down their opioid use
- The person thinks of getting and using opioids in an obsessive manner
- The person neglects work or school to continue their drug use
- The person ignores his or her doctor’s recommended dosage
- The person’s use of opioids increased over time
Understanding Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Another way to know if you or a loved one is addicted to opioids is when withdrawal symptoms are experienced. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle pains and aches
- Constantly yawning
- Hot and cold sweats
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- Anxiety attacks
Opioid withdrawal symptoms tend to last between one week and one month. Acute withdrawal can begin approximately 12 hours after the person’s last opioid use. These symptoms also peak at around three to five days, lasting up to four weeks. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last up to two years.
Call Our Opioid Addiction Hotline in Richmond, Virginia Today
Finding treatment for opioid addiction can be difficult, but by calling our caring and compassionate counselors, you let us do the work for you. We can get you the resources and linkage you need to achieve sobriety. Our counselors will listen attentively to your problems and help you develop real solutions that help you get back to your life. Contact our Richmond opioid addiction hotline at (804) 214-3246 to find help today.