Opioids are synthetic substances that are similar to opiates like morphine, heroin, and opium. Like these substances, opioids react with opioid receptors in the brain to produce euphoric effects. The most common opioids are oxycodone and hydrocodone, most commonly seen in Oxycontin and Vicodin respectively. These medications are also the most common substances used in opioid addiction.
While they may be common in mainstream prescription pain-killers, they are equally as dangerous and addictive as their opiate counterparts. Opioid abuse, particularly of oxycodone and hydrocodone, commonly develops out of a dependency on prescription painkillers.
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Effects and Signs of Opioid Abuse
Someone suffering from opioid abuse will suffer from a number of physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms. If you notice these symptoms in someone you love, it’s time to talk to him about finding treatment for his opioid abuse:
- Drug cravings
- Itching, rashes, and flushed skin
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration and memory
- Anxiety and confusion
- Poor planning and judgment
- Nausea and vomiting
- Small pupils
The euphoric effects opioids produce are the main reason people abuse them. Often, opioid abuse develops over time and someone may not notice they’re addicted until it’s too late. Addressing an opioid drug addiction before it leads to overdose is the only way to prevent adverse health complications or death.
How do I Talk to Someone About Opioid Abuse?
If you notice someone in your life is struggling with opioid abuse, how do you talk to them about it? Since opioids are common in prescription painkillers, many people may not realize they have a problem. As people use opioid medications to counteract pain, they have to continuously use more and more as their tolerance builds up.
Having a loved one that struggles with opioid abuse can be difficult for his friends and family. However, that support system is vital for his recovery. Family counseling can intervene or help aid this conversation. As a friend or family member, there are a few things to keep in mind when supporting your recovering loved one:
You’re not alone: Addiction rehab centers like Serenity Lodge have resources for the friends and families of someone in addiction. Whether it’s facilitating communication between the person in recovery and his family or teaching family members how to be a positive support network, these programs and services exist to help everyone involved in recovery.
Don’t enable: It may be hard to say ‘no’ to a loved one. However, enabling addictive behavior will only hurt them more in the long-run. Learn to say no and stick by it. Even if the person struggling with opioid abuse is mad at you now, they’ll thank you later on.
Reinforce positivity: Even on days when it’s difficult, reinforce positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Ultimately, this positive reinforcement will be what allows someone a successful and sustainable recovery.
A loved one’s job during drug rehab recovery is as support. It’s not a task you have to take on alone, but you have to be aware of the risks and struggles that come along with it. There will be bad days and times when you get frustrated, but that’s okay. Just know that staying positive and being there for your loved one will help him overcome his addiction.
Recovery at Serenity Lodge
Recovery from opioid abuse at Serenity Lodge in California starts with understanding the sources of addiction. For many people that struggle with opioids and prescription drug abuse, it’s a matter of learning other strategies for managing pain. At Serenity Lodge, we offer a number of amenities and programs designed to help our Clients overcome chronic pain. Some of these include:
Through these amenities and holistic approaches, men at Serenity Lodge learn healthy and sustainable ways to address pain. Additionally, these methods don’t rely on medication and will last our Clients a lifetime.
If you or someone you love struggles with opioid abuse, it’s time to contact Serenity Lodge at (855) 932-4045. Addiction doesn’t have to control your life, you just have to make the call.