Opioid Addiction: How to Help the Victims

Opioid addiction

Opioids are prescribed medications to treat pain. Prolonged use of this medication makes them resistant to pain reducing the effect of this medication. The pain can worsen and additionally, you can develop a dependency on this medication. In this article today, let us study why opiate drugs are addictive and lethal and if rehabilitation works for opioid addiction.

What is opioid?

Opioid is a term to describe natural and synthetic painkillers that are derived from the poppy plant. Opiate is a related term used to describe medications that use natural opium poppy products. Heroin, the drug is an opiate. Opioids are also called narcotics and it is a drug to say in simple terms. Doctors to relieve acute pain from surgeries, injuries, toothaches and other medical procedure that can otherwise give excruciating pain prescribe opioids. But studies show that prolonged use of opioids can nullify the effect of the medication and increase the risk of developing an addiction. Opioid overdose is responsible for drug overdose deaths in the US currently.

How to know if someone is addicted to Opioid?

What happens when a person is exposed to Opioid? He experiences an excess release of endorphins in the brain. Most people are not addicted after this exposure except for some. After consuming this medication, they experience a pleasurable after-effect and cannot live without it. When someone gets addicted, the craving is irresistible, out of control and compulsive. Opioids are highly addictive drugs because they create a temporary sense of immense pleasure and the moment the effect starts waning off, he finds it difficult to contain himself without the drug.

The symptoms of opioid addiction are as follows:

  • Drowsiness and unable to wake up
  • Poor coordination
  • Shallow and slow breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and making a gurgling noise
  • Constipation
  • Physical agitation
  • Impaired attention
  • Slurred speech
  • Constricted pupils
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Menstrual issues
  • Headaches
  • Bad dreams
  • Mood swings
  • Low libido

How to know if a person has had an opioid overdose?

An opioid overdose demands immediate medical attention. These signs are the red flags that you must call an ambulance immediately.

  • Breathing but unresponsive
  • Slow irregular breathing
  • Erratic pulse or no pulse at all
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Small pupils

How to help a victim of opioid addiction?

If you think that you are a victim of opioid or know someone who is addicted to opioids, the first step towards breaking the addiction is controlling it.

Talk to the person

Talking to the person about addiction and instilling a sense of fear like significant health problems, loss of family and loved ones, financial devastation, loss of a job are some that might convince him to consider treatment and rehab. Don’t judge or blame the person, instead focus on showing your concern and explain the need of treatment.

Seek medical help

Don’t take the person straight away to a rehabilitation center. This may give him the wrong impression that you are trying to get rid of him. Instead, let him get help from a psychiatrist first. The doctor will be able to explain and convince him out of the addiction. Maybe medication will be enough to bring him back on track. Rehabilitation might not be required at all. 

Tolerate withdrawal symptoms

This can be a challenging phase both for the victim and the family members. Restlessness, muscle aches, insomnia, cold flashes with goose bumps, sweating, mild hypertension, involuntary leg movements, anxiety and panic, rapid heart rate, seizures, fear or paranoia are just some of the many symptoms that drug addicts experience during the withdrawal phase. You must be loving and considerate and help the victim fight the craving no matter what.



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