Opioids, aka narcotics, are a class of drugs used for pain relief where regular pain-relieving drugs are insufficient. There are many opioid side effects, and the risk of opioid abuse is high. Doctors only prescribe them to manage severe chronic pain from health conditions like cancer.
Some opioids are synthetic, while others come from the opium poppy plant. For example, heroin is a synthetic opioid. Even with prescriptions, long-term use of opioids can create dependence and addiction. These factors increase the chances of substance abuse. If you or your loved one struggles with opioid abuse, Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston can help you get back on track. Contact us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about our treatment programs.
Common Opioid Side Effects
The most common side effects of opioids are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pruritus or unexplained itching
- Dry mouth
These side effects may occur even when opioids are used for their intended purpose and with a valid prescription. If a person shows adverse side effects, the doctors may stop therapy with opioids. Most side effects improve after using opioids for some time. However, constipation and itching persist throughout usage and may need intervention.
Long-term Effects of Opioid Use
Opioids may negatively affect the respiratory system, so people with respiratory system issues should not use them. In these individuals, opioid side effects can include reduced respiratory rates, erratic breathing and gasping, reduced tidal volume, and increased airway resistance. As a result, the body receives less oxygen, which can lead to other complications.
Dependence and addiction are other effects of long-term opioid abuse. When you are dependent, you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t take the drug. Also, as you develop tolerance, you will need higher doses to achieve the same physiological effect.
This tolerance often leads to misuse, where the person takes the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Misuse of opioids or substance abuse includes taking someone else’s medication, taking it to get high (not for pain management), and taking more than the indicated dosages. After this, opioid abuse and addiction may quickly set in.
The Dangers of Opioid Abuse
Opioid side effects can also affect newborn children of mothers who misused opioids. These children are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome because the babies are addicted to drugs. They will experience withdrawal symptoms, just like adults who stop using opioids.
Long-term opioid abuse can often lead a person to switch to heroin, especially since doctors only prescribe measured doses of opioids. People with obstructive sleep apnea should not use opioids because of the respiratory effects; fatalities can result. You should also not use opioids if you take central respiratory depressants like benzodiazepines (antidepressants).
The most significant risk of opioid misuse and abuse is overdose, which can be life-threatening. When taken outside a doctor’s advice, you don’t account for drug interactions. These interactions can result in harmful side effects.
Treatment for Opioid Abuse at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
It is challenging to beat opioid addiction after your body has developed tolerance. The best method for weaning off opioid abuse or dependence is through medically-assisted detox. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we’ve tailored our programs to build the right foundation for a drug-free life. These programs can address various needs, including:
- Individual therapy
- Opiate detox center
- Residential detox center
- Dual diagnosis treatment center
- Psychotherapy program
Are you or your loved one struggling with opioid addiction and opioid side effects? You can begin your journey of recovery by getting into a good medical detox program. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 and let us help you take control of your story. Your future begins today.