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Drug Detoxing
06.23.2021

What Are The Long Lasting Effects Of Opioid Abuse?

Whether legally prescribed for legitimate medical purposes or obtained illicitly for recreational pursuits, various drugs can have lasting impacts on those ingesting said substances. One such type of substances are called opioids.  Opioids are a specific differentiation of drugs derived from the seeds of poppy plants. The extracted materials can be used to create a wide array of therapeutic, synthetic, and illicit substances.

Specific Types Of Opioids

Therapeutic drugs with opiate bases include narcotic painkillers, such as morphine, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. A common but potent synthetic opioid is Fentanyl. Arguably, the most infamous and dangerous illegal opiate is known as heroin.

Opiate Influence On The Brain And Body

The brain is comprised of countless components called opiate receptors. These features enable brain cells, which are scientifically referred to as neurotransmitters, to produce chemical responses produced by opiate drugs.  Once opioids are ingested, the drugs compounds attach to brain cells responsible for producing pain signals. Such events render one more impervious to pain. Moreover, such a reaction might also induce feelings of well-being, tranquility, and even euphoria.

Opiates can also exercise a profoundly adverse impact on the body and numerous biological processes. Researchers have found that these drugs can slow breathing rates, interfere with digestion, and severely damage one’s coordination and physical capabilities.  Arguably, however, the most dangerous aspect of opiate usage is said activity’s potential to precipitate dependency. The pleasing effects produced by said substances do not last for extended periods. Ergo, users must continually ingest larger dosage more frequently to produce the influences their minds and bodies have grown accustomed to.  Over time, this disturbing cycle results in addiction. Those with this disease are often so dependent on a given opioid that they cannot perform the most basic tasks unless under the influence of such chemicals.

Mental Health

Users should know that opiates could leave lasting and potentially permanent impacts on the mind and body.  In addition to the ever-growing risk of dependency and addiction, long-term use can negatively influence future brain function. Researchers have concluded that those ingesting opiate drugs over extended periods could experience alterations in brain chemistry. Said occurrences might result in cognitive disturbances or other severe mental concerns.

In fact, clinical studies have revealed that opiate users stand at a significantly increased possibility of developing notable mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and a host of other mood and social phobias.

Physical Health

The most serious and immediate problem associated with chronic, heavy opiate ingestion is overdose. Addiction professionals stress the importance of reiterating that addicts must continually ingest prodigious amounts of a given opiate to produce desired outcomes.  However, eventually, said subjects might overdose. Such circumstances are medical emergencies carrying the potential to result in death or permanent disability if not aggressively treated.

Furthermore, continued unchecked use increases the user’s chances of contracting serious, possibly fatal issues, such as respiratory system collapse, a heart infection called endocarditis, and a dangerous liver ailment known as hepatitis.

Preventing Such Outcomes

Contrary to many popular myths, opiate addiction is not merely limited to junkies getting high inside alleyways. In many cases, persons prescribed painkillers designed to relieve discomfort associated with many appreciable illnesses grow dependent.  That said, oftentimes, addicts do not possess the mental clarity needed to realize they carry a serious problem. Therefore, treatment specialists call on their loved ones to look out for important clues suggesting their kinfolk may possess a serious opioid dependency.

Occasionally, a loved one’s keen intuition might be what prevents an addict from suffering the long-lasting impacts of such substances. Issues to look out for include:

  • Using ever-growing quantities of the drug in question
  • Social withdrawal
  • Declining professional, familial, or social performances
  • Loss of interest in activities said subjects used to enjoy
  • Financial or legal troubles
  • Increased tolerance
  • Experiencing agitation or withdrawal between fixes
  • Noticeable changes in mood or demeanor

If any two of the preceding issues occur over a 12-month duration, alarm bells should ring.

Actions To Be Taken

Dependents may be able to beat their addictions before sustaining lasting or permanent damages. However, said subjects and their families are implored to engage in swift and aggressive actions.  Arguably, the most befitting effort to explore is inpatient treatment. In numerous instances, opiates produce severe withdrawal symptoms and the detox process should be performed under the scrutiny of experienced medical professionals.

Moreover, mental recovery often proves challenging and recidivism is high. Therefore, healing subjects may benefit from an extended period of inpatient treatment with experienced addiction specialists and mental health professionals.

Reaching Out To Us

Opiate addiction does not have to result in permanent problems. If you or a close relation has such a dependency, is concerned about their future physical and mental well-being, and possesses a strong desire to live a substance-free life, please contact our south Florida treatment center at 844-903-2111.