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Unveiling The Truth About Methadone: Does It Block Opiates Effectively

Opiate addiction drastically increased over the past decades. Opiate addiction bears an extreme tendency for relapse. This makes it even more difficult for users to start their recovery process. Users also have a hard time to avoid the substance for a long period of time. But how do opiates affect the body?

How opiates affect the body

In the research of the US National Library of Medicine, it claimed that opiates affect the central nervous system and the brain. These two vital parts of the body control the normal function of the body. Opiates work in a way that consists of:

Opiates contain properties that are similar to the chemical component endorphins. The body produces endorphins to relieve pain. The similarities make it easy for opiates to interrupt endorphin production. It can ultimately take over the control of the nervous system and the brain functions.

Opiates activate the cells producing endorphins in the body. Over time these cells become dependent on opiate side effects to work normally.

Prolonged use of opiates can lead to the depletion of endorphin chemical supply in the body. This causes the cell to deteriorate and can lose their normal function. This condition is the main reason why users need to take higher doses of opiate to achieve the same ‘high’ effects.

Methadone medication treatment

Opiate addictions are one of the highest probabilities for relapse. This exact predicament causes the medical community to research further about addictions. Experts continue to find more effective treatment as an opiate treatment.

One of the very first treatments for opiate addiction is methadone medication. Treatments that block opiates do not cause any harm in the nervous and brain functions. On the other hand, methadone offers aid to users to start the recovery process and to live a normal life again.

Methadone is designed to focus on those challenges that the users encounter when undergoing the treatment process.

Following the methadone treatment applications, several medication treatments have been developed. However, methadone remains the standard in which the new treatments are measured.

Bearing in mind that methadone assist in to ease the withdrawal and cravings effects of the opiate. Here comes the most important question; does methadone block opiates? Well, the answer is no. But it helps return the brain function to a normal level.

Also, there are several significant roles that methadone do for opiate addiction. The drug helps the body during a detoxification process and blocking opiates.  Knowing how methadone works can shed new understanding how it can cure addiction.

How methadone works

When users start the methadone treatment, the drug will pick up where opiates last felt. Methadone will start affecting the cell sites to produce the much-needed endorphin supplies. This is according to the Alabama Department of Mental Health studies.

However, the effect of methadone is far from the side effects of the addictive opiates. The drug has a slow-release formula that aids the cell function to produce endorphins. This is in contrast with the side effects of opiates in producing the endorphins. The rapid release of opiates causes the feeling of euphoria.

So in a nutshell, methadone works to substitute the side effects of opiates. During treatment, methadone detaches the users from depending on opiates.

How methadone blocks opiates

Methadone may not opiate addiction because there are different causes of addiction, which needs to be separately addressed to end the disorder. Nevertheless, methadone has three significant benefits that help the user in recovering from addiction.

Methadone can significantly reduce drug cravings of the user. It can also reduce the urges to take heroin and other opiates.

The drug minimizes the effects of withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, it can even eliminate the symptoms altogether particularly in heroin and other opiate abuse.

Methadone can block the side effects of opiates and heroin in the body. This can eventually stop the feeling of euphoria or the intense ‘high’ feeling associated with opiates and other illicit drugs.

Methadone can successfully perform all three because it’s a long-acting opioid. It means that the drug contains a half-life for about 48 hours. Some experts claimed that the methadone half-life can last up to 72 hours.

For 48 to 72 hours from the last dose of methadone medication, about 50% of the drug remains inside the user’s body.

Once users take methadone medication, it would take days before they can experience withdrawal symptoms from the drug.

Methadone binds the opiate receptors in the brain. This will keep them busy while the body excretes the remaining traces of the illicit drugs. Since these receptors are fully occupied, there is no room left for other opiates to affect the receptors. Interested in methadone alternatives? How about a rapid opiate detox? Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

How Does Drug Addiction Affect The Brain?

Your brain is a very important part of you. It allows you to think, breathe, move, feel, and speak. It is only 3 pounds of gray and white matter resting on your skull, but it serves as your “mission control.” You perceive information from your surroundings through the brain because it can receive, process, and integrate information both outside the body and inside so you can live and function despite the changing circumstances. It also allows you to learn and decide for yourself. Drugs including opiates alter the way your brain works.

The brain constitutes many parts working together as a team. Every part of the brain has its own job to do and all of these are important.

  • When drugs come into the brain, they can interfere with the normal processing, eventually changing how it functions.
  • Due to prolonged use, users can become addicted to the drug.
  • Addiction is seen as a brain disease characterized by its ability to control the user to not stop the use of drugs even if they want to, despite knowing the terrible consequences of drugs on their health.

Drugs can change the three primary areas of the brain which are:

The Brain Stem

This part of the brain takes charge of all functions in the body needed for survival such as breathing, blood circulation, and digestion. It links the brain to the spinal cord, which moves muscles and limbs. Generally, it lets the brain know what’s going on in the body.

The Limbic System

This functions by linking together brain structures that control emotional responses like pleasure. People are usually motivated to repeat behavior resulting in pleasurable feelings.

The cerebral cortex

This mushroom-shaped part of the outer brain or the gray matter makes up ¾ of the brain. It is divided into four different areas called lobes. The region controls specific functions like processing information from our five senses allowing us to feel, hear, see, and taste. The frontal cortex is our thinking center that enables us to think, solve problems, plan, and make decisions.

The NDRI works with partners for advanced research on conditions related to illnesses and injuries to the brain as well as the nervous system.

In 2015, the NDRI received funding from NIMH to develop a program that will identify and recover brain specimen from donors diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s, and other pervasive developmental disorders. Specimens donated to the program continue to help researchers understand associated behaviors such as developmental delays, excessive repetitive behaviors, and deficits in communication. All these are also common to those diagnosed with brain disorders.

The NDRI was also able to launch a brain acquisition program together with CNRM or the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Uniformed services University back in 2015. The funding from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation supported the research of the neurological symptoms of TBI or traumatic brain injury related to combat and blast exposures in the U.S. military service. NDRI worked with Tissue Bank and OPO in 2016 to recover the whole brain specimen to be used in this program.

Stop living a life of addiction and suffering. Walk into the light. Detox of South Florida is here to help you detox and rehab safely.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Addiction is believed to be a chronic disease that is characterized by the compulsion to use a substance with difficulty in controlling one’s cravings. The desire is common despite the knowledge of its harmful side-effects. In most cases, the initial decision to use drugs is still voluntary.

  • With repeated use, drugs can result in brain alterations that can challenge the addicted person’s self-control, interfering with his ability to resist the intense urge to use drugs.
  • The changes made in the brain can be very persistent.
  • Drug addiction is seen as a “relapsing” disease.
  • People who are in the pathway to drug recovery are the most at risk for returning to the use of drugs even years after not using drugs.

The majority of drugs can largely affect and change the brain’s reward circuit by increasing the chemical messenger dopamine in it.

The system can control the body’s ability to feel pleasure. It can also motivate the person to repeat certain behaviors to thrive, which usually includes normal activities such as eating as well as spending time with family and friends. However, the overstimulation of the brain’s reward circuit can create an intensely pleasurable euphoric high that pushes the user to use drugs over and over again.

As the person continues the drug use, the brain activities change and eventually adjust to the excess of dopamine in the system. As a result, a reduction of the ability of brain cells to respond happens.

Chronic users can only feel fewer sensations of “high” compared to when they first tried it.

The effect is known as tolerance. Users may be compelled to use more of the drug just to achieve that same dopamine high causing other aspects of their lives to no longer be pleasurable. The long-term use of drugs can also alter other brain chemical systems and circuits. Drugs can affect:

  • Learning
  • Behavior
  • Decision-making
  • Judgment
  • Memory
  • Stress

The nature of the addiction is that users continue to take them despite already being aware of its harmful outcomes.

There is no single factor that can predict if an individual will become addicted or not.

There are combinations of factors that can influence the risk for addiction. The more risk factors, the greater is that person’s chance to become addicted. These factors include:

Biology

People are born with genes that account for half of their risk for addiction. Ethnicity, gender as well as the presence of mental disorders can also influence the risk for drug use as well as drug addiction.

Environment

Feelings of pressure from family and friends can also be a factor. Physical and sexual abuse also can prompt drug use. Early exposure to drugs usually in an environment where this is seen as the norm can also prompt addiction.

The first two factors interact with the critical development stages in life affecting addiction. Although using drugs at any age has a high probability of becoming addicted, using it at an early age often leads to more severe forms of addiction. Usually, this happens in teens as their judgment, self-control, and decision-making is still vulnerable to temptations.

At Detox of South Florida, we want everyone to live a life free from addiction. Contact our team today about detoxing in a safe and controlled medical situation. Then continue on into rehab to learn how to live your new life free from addiction and your old habits.

What Is The Difference Between Oxycontin And Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is often thought of as the lesser of the two evils as it is most often used in combination with other medications. This opiate is often formulated alongside Tylenol or Ibuprofen in several formulations. The number of prescription pain relievers with Oxycodone components include Tylox, Percodan, Percocet and of course, OxyContin. OxyContin, on the other hand, only contains Oxycodone.

The primary ingredient in OxyContin is also the active ingredient in many other pain medications. Therefore, “Oxycodone Extended Release” is said to be the better term for the generic versions of OxyContin.

How Are Oxycodone & Oxycontin Used?

Abusers tend to crush both of these medications’ tablet forms then swallow or snort. A few others dilute the drug in a little water then inject it directly.

There are individuals who smoke OxyContin and this has been a problem in several parts of the country. In fact, it is said to be the most abused opioid disregarding its severe adverse effects.

Oxycodone Characteristics:

  • In the pharmaceutical setting, the term “Oxycodone” is taken as the generic name of OxyContin.
  • Oxycodone can relieve its users from pain for 4 to 6 hours.
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA revealed that Oxycodone is being abused for more than 30 years.

Oxycontin Characteristics:

  • OxyContin boasts stronger effects, having the pure concentration of the drug.
  • Oxycontin is also more addictive than OxyCodone.
  • Oxycontin, the branded pharmaceutical drug, is designed as a time-release pill that is expected to be effective for 12 hours.
  • With the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, abusers have even escalated.
  • OxyContin usually tampers or removes the time release formula so they can get a stronger dose right away.
  • Users who get addicted to prescription drugs usually take OxyContin because it has a stronger dose and lasts longer than Oxycodone.

The Dangers Of OxyContin

OxyContin, aside from being addictive, is highly lethal. The drug actually makes you believe that you can take in more, while it is already developing respiratory failure. Often, the scenario happens when the drug is combined with other medications or alcoholic beverages.

Numerous rehabilitation and detoxification centers nationwide specialize in prescription medication addiction treatments. They give out tips to help people overcome a prescription abuse problem. According to the National Institute of Health, 3-5% of Oxycontin users have become addicted. Ergo, it is important to stay away from opioids as much as possible. If the patient has to take the prescription, he should seek help as soon as he suspects that he is already having a problem with dependency or addiction.

Rehab centers suggest that if you know of anyone struggling with Oxycontin addiction, they should get them help immediately. A third of users taking the prescription drug for a non-medical purpose are aged 12 and older. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention in 2011, in fact, revealed that more and more people die because of an overdose even on legal pain medications.

Opiates: Everything You Should Know About Short Term and Long Term Effects

Opiates, just like any other drug, are dangerous if abused. There’s a reason why they’re illegal. And today we are going to discuss some of those reasons.

We will be discussing both short term and long term effects of opiates, including heroin, morphine and thebaine. They all have the same methods of action anyway. These highly addictive substances are all derived from opium. There are natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic types. Some of them have medical applications. They can be used as sedatives or painkillers. But drugs such as heroin are only used recreationally.

Even those that are distributed legally can quickly make a person dependent. It is so widely used that between 13 and 20 million people were said to have used opiates recreationally in 2013.

Readily prescribed and highly addictive, opiates present a very serious threat. It’s no surprise that it is among the most abused drugs in the United States. Let’s take a look at the various effects that opiates have on people who abuse it.

Short-Term Effects of Opiates

Opiates don’t just control pain; they can also produce some sort of “high” for the person using it. This makes the experience enjoyable and addictive. Fast-acting ones such as heroin are often injected, snorted, or smoked to produce instant feelings of euphoria.

Heroin produces an intense high but only lasts for a very short duration. Morphine’s effects last much longer, from 4 to 6 hours.

But aside from pain relief, sedation, and euphoria, opiates come with another short term effect: drowsiness. With its intense high and relaxing qualities, a person will not be able to focus their mind on things that need to be done. It reduces your reaction times, so driving becomes highly dangerous.

The mere presence of the drug in your vehicle is enough to cost you your license.

Users may also experience feelings of paranoia, nausea, and respiratory depression. It also comes with another obvious side effect that’s hard to hide: it causes your irises to relax, creating pinpoint pupils.

Long-term Effects of Opiates

When continuously abused, opiates can cause frequent vomiting, abdominal distention, and bloating. It has adverse effects on your digestive system, as you may have already noticed from the other symptoms we listed above. It can also make the person constipated.

Your liver may also be damaged. This is especially true if a person abuses drugs that combine opiates and acetaminophen.

The person’s condition gets progressively worse as they continue to abuse these drugs. It could even lead to brain damage due to hypoxia. In the worst cases, people develop a tolerance and dependence for the opiates, meaning they can no longer go for too long without taking it.

By this time, the body has already grown used to the presence of the drugs and has started to adapt accordingly. It starts reacting to the absence of opiates, producing various withdrawal symptoms for the person.

Tolerance would also include needing more and more of the drug just to get the same effects.

Opiate Dependence

Of course, all of the side effects we mentioned above are nothing compared to opiate addiction. What’s scary about this set of drugs is that they can get you addicted quickly—you wouldn’t even realize it until it’s too late.

Even the commonly prescribed painkiller codeine is addictive, so it’s really a matter of consciously avoiding its abuse in order to stay safe. When a person becomes dependent, they really couldn’t tell right away. This dependence is likely to be diagnosed when they are already unable to get off the drug, despite its negative consequences.

Not only will your health be affected in so many ways, it can also break down your interpersonal relationships as well as your career. Such is what commonly happens when a person gets addicted to a certain substance. They may even be driven to do things they don’t believe are morally right. They might lie, cheat, and steal their way into obtaining more opiates. In the worst cases, they may even result to violence if their impulses are not put in check.

All these cause financial problems, not only for the patient but also for their families. They will need to take care of the person’s health, while also addressing the withdrawal symptoms that come up.

If you can’t get off the drug on your own, you might need some help.

Those pesky withdrawal symptoms will definitely keep you from easily recovering. But with a good treatment program, you may be able to get the drug off your system, start recovering, and begin life again.

How long does it take to detox from opiates

Opioids belong to a group of drugs user as a treatment for moderate to severe pain. These drugs are derived from the opium poppy plant. Opioids often referred to as opiates and narcotics.

Codeine, morphine, and heroin sometimes referred to as opiates. Meanwhile, the other drugs including synthetic opiates like Oxycontin are referred to as opioids.

Several of the most commonly used opiates are listed below along with their generic names. The list is in ascending order based on the drug’s potency.

  • Codeine
  • Vicodin and Hycodan (hydrocodone)
  • MS, Contin, and  Kadian (morphine)
  • Oxycontin and Percocet (oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Duragesic (fentanyl)

 

Within the past few years, the use of opioids prescription is on the rise in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 16 million American abused opioid prescription in just one year. This abuse behavior towards opioids can eventually lead to dependency and addiction.

Opiate Addiction Treatment Centers in Florida

Long term abuse of opioids can provide detrimental physical and mental side effects.

The drugs can also cause physical dependence which means the user needs to maintain drug intake. Overtime, dependence can lead to tolerance that the body needs more drugs to get the same effect. Drug dependency varies from each individual. One of the biggest challenges the user needs to take it going ‘cold turkey’.  This condition makes it even harder for users to take a stop using the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant but most are not life-threatening. Symptoms usually surface within 12 hours from the last drug intake.

The most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

 

Other withdrawal symptoms may occur later in a detox process include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


Opioids Withdrawal Timeline

The duration of the detox process depends on the user’s overall health, the length of abuse and the dosage of the drug intake. 

The majority of users will undergo 3 stages of withdrawal while detoxing from opioids.

First Stage of Withdrawal from Opiates

Within 12 hours from the last drug intake, users may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms may peak around day 3 and last for about a total of 5 days. Methadone users may experience the same symptoms 30 hours from the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms during this window include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Second Stage of Withdrawal from Opiates

The second stage of the withdrawal symptoms usually lasts for about 2 weeks. As the body excretes opiates, it also works to put back the endorphin balance levels that were used up during the opiate addiction. The second stage withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Leg cramps
  • Muscle pain


Third Stage of Withdrawal from Opiates

The third stage of opiate detoxification is the longest part. It can go anywhere between 1 week to 2 months but is less painful from the previous stages. Also, as the body excretes the drug, physical symptoms may subside but the psychological symptoms will start to manifest. This may include co-existing mental disorder that may trigger the user to abuse opiates. The psychological symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness

Some users may take months even years to fully recover from opiate addiction. It may seem an impossible journey at first, but is still doable. Many succeeded regaining their lives back from addiction.

What is in Suboxone

Suboxone is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone prescription used to treat opioid addiction. Also, the drug contains one part Naloxone in every four parts of Buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine belongs to a group of drugs called opioid partial agonists. It works to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of opiates. Meanwhile, Naloxone is a class of drugs referred to as opioid antagonists that work to reverse the effects of narcotics.

Also, doctors administer naloxone to people who are in active overdose and have a higher chance to die from their drug abuse. The drug works to remove the narcotics from the receptors thus stopping the overdose. It works effectively in respiratory distress and can wake the user.

The combination of Naloxone and Buprenorphine

Naloxone starts the withdrawal symptoms immediately and triggers a full withdrawal of the user. Meanwhile, the use of Buprenorphine can treat the withdrawal symptoms and break the cycle of relapse.

Suboxone subdues the euphoric effect in opioids even when users take another substance like heroin. It blocks the euphoric feeling which heroin produces. The drug can effectively treat addiction because of the two main chemicals.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, it is a long acting drug that medical practitioner can administer for opioid detoxification.

Like other medication, the outcome varies on the user’s overall health and their opioid use. To find out how long Suboxone block opioid, also varies on several factors like:

  • The reason for Suboxone use
  • How Suboxone works
  • How long Suboxone blocks opioids

Reasons for Suboxone use

There are several reasons why users choose Suboxone detox over other detoxification programs. The drug blocks opiates and withdrawal symptoms. Also, Suboxone has a long half-life which makes eliminates cravings for longer periods compare to methadone and other detox programs.

How Suboxone work

Suboxone works in two significant ways. The first is that it binds the opiate receptors to immediately stop drug cravings. These receptors commonly generate euphoric high that the users get while under the influence of narcotics.

Binding the receptors fall under the job of buprenorphine because it is a partial opiate receptor agonist. The drug is stronger than heroin and any other opiates, this keeps the receptors busy regardless of other present opiates.

In the meantime, naloxone works to remove all opiate agonist from the receptors to allow buprenorphine to take effect. The two chemicals work together to stop opiate reaction or the feeling of euphoria. It then replaces the opiate with partial opiate to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

How long Suboxone blocks opioids

To fully grasp the length of time that Suboxone can block opioids, one must understand the meaning of half-life. In medical terms, half-life means the duration for a substance to decrease in half.  It means that half-life is the length of time for the half of the drug to leave the body.

Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of the drug Suboxone claimed that the drug has a total half-life of 24 to 42 hours. It’s the time that takes buprenorphine to leave the body. Meanwhile, naloxone contains a half-life of 2 to 12 hours, which takes about 48 to 84 hours before the body excretes the drug.

Suboxone can block opiates around 24 hours after the user takes the drug. Opioids are then partially blocked for approximately 64 hours. This duration depends on the dosage of Suboxone and duration of time taking the drug.

However, each individual has a unique genetic make-up and different drug abuse history. It is important to seek medical advised before taking this medication.

How Opiates Work In The Brain

Opioids stick to the brain receptors, once attached they send a signal to the brain to block pain. The reaction is referred to as “opioid effect”. These drugs can slow down breathing and creates a calming and anti-depressing effect.

The body cannot produce enough opioids to stop severe pain.

The drug can activate brain receptors because of their chemical structure. Opioids acts like the body’s natural neurotransmitter. Even though opioids can imitate the brain chemical, they don’t activate nerve cells normally. These lead them to abnormal messages in the central nervous system.

Opioids main target

The drugs target the reward system in the brain and overloading it with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain area that controls emotion. It also controls movement, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. Over stimulation of this system can produce euphoric effects which serve as the main reason why people abuse these drugs.

How opiates relieve pain in the body

Doctors prescribe opiates as a treatment for moderate to severe pain. Pain can happen when nerves are hit by trauma. It then carries the pain message to the spinal cord and to the brain. Opiates block the transmission of these pain messages inside the spinal cord. The drugs can effectively block pain but can produce other unwanted effects in the mind and body.

How opiates produces feelings of euphoria

Opioids affect other systems aside from the nervous system, these include:

  • Limbic system (controls emotions or feelings of relaxation, pleasure, and contentment)
  • Brainstem (controls the normal automatic function of the body like breathing)
  • Spinal cord (receives sensation from all over the body before passing the pain signal to the brain)

When a person takes opiates, the drugs attach themselves to the brain receptors. It then activates the reward system which produces the feeling of euphoria.

The body then releases an excessive amount of dopamine which can cause intense euphoria. The sensation of contentment and relaxation followed afterward for the duration of the drug’s effect in the body.

Furthermore, the effects of opioid depend on dosage and how the drug was administered. Opioids can rapidly act and more intensely when injected. If a person takes the pills orally, it can take longer to act in the brain.

How opiates can trigger addiction

Once opiates change the chemical in the brain, the body will eventually adjust its performance to accommodate the existence of the drug.  Prolonged heavy intake of the drug can lead to physical dependency.

This means the body compulsively need and seek the existence of opiates. The users will experience painful withdrawal symptoms if they had not taken any drugs.  However, dependence is not considered as addiction. Nevertheless, dependency is the initial sign of addiction.

Opiates cause a physical effect in the body. Since the brain and body are closely connected with each other, the drugs can also cause a psychological effect.

These drugs can ease anxiety and produces a ‘high’ feeling. Users seek these sensations as a way to cope with problems.

Addiction can fully develop when users consider that their drug of choice plays an important part for them to function ‘normally’.

Opiate addiction is both very dangerous and powerful urge and users believe they cannot live without consuming their drug.

However, it is still possible to recover from addiction with the help of a proper medical care and support from family and friends. Several programs are now available to help users regain their lives back.

What are opioids?

Opiates Vs Opioids

First off let’s define Opiates vs Opioids. Opiates are drugs derived from the opium plant. In earlier years opioids stricly meant synthetic opiates. These were created in a lab, thus the term synthetic. They were designed to behave like opium, but on a base level they are different.  Today however, the term Opioid is used to describe the whole family of opiates. Both natural synethetic and hybrids (semi synchteic).

Opioids are drugs that affect the opioid receptors in the brain and in the spinal cord. They reduce the intensity of the pain and how the body responds to it. Opioids also work in the brain areas that control emotions, it can further decrease the painful stimuli.

For centuries, medical practitioners used opioids to treat a cough, pain even diarrhea.

Typically, opioids are used to treat acute or severe pain. Since the 90s opioids have increasingly used as a treatment for chronic pain. Even if little evidence proving its effectiveness.

Correspondingly, there are reports that people suffer from an illness known as hyperalgesia.  Hyperalgesia is a condition which increases a person’s sensitivity to pain because of opioid treatments.

Aside from relieving pain, opioids also affect the reward system of the brain resulting in a state of euphoria. Providing this kind of ‘high’ feeling is one of the main reasons for the misuse of the drug that eventually lead to addiction.

Opioids contain the same chemical components of heroin. These drugs first synthesized from morphine in the late 19th century. Similarly, these properties present a greater risk of addiction and overdose. Even when a person is following legitimate prescriptions.

How opioids influence the brain and body?

Opioids work in attaching themselves to the opioid receptor proteins. These are found on the nerve cells in the spinal cord, brain, digestive system and other organs in the body. Once attached to the receptors, they decrease the pain signal transmissions.

Known effects of opioids include:

  • sleepiness/drowsiness
  • mental confusion
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • respiratory distress

 

Also, opioids affect the reward system in the brain inducing euphoria. When taken in higher dosages or administered in other ways than prescribed it can intensify its effects.

Some people take drugs in other ways than prescribed to intensify its effects.  For example, a drug was prescribed as an oral medication to have a steady, constant release of the opioid. People often change its form in preparation for injecting or snorting the drug.  It generates a greater chance of getting medical complications even drug overdose.

The Case of Drug Overdose

In 2012, heroin addiction plagued the United States. More than 2 million Americans suffered from opioid painkiller abuse. Opiate abuse can result to many health complications and more often than not leads to death because of overdose.

Effects of Opiates in the Body

Effect of Opiates in the brain

The side effects of opiate painkillers can induce daytime sleepiness or drowsiness.

 

  • Heroin can cause intermittent attacks of “nodding off”. Users can sometimes slip in and out of consciousness.
  • This can cause accidents when the users are in the dangerous environment. For example when a user nods off when driving, swimming or working in heavy machinery.
  • Users who abuse opiates for more than six months had an increase chance of 50% greater developing depression attacks.

 

Effect of Opiates in the   Respiratory System

  • opiates can result in respiratory distress, a condition which slows down breathing and can lead to death
  • even in adequate doses, drugs can take away the proper supply of oxygen in the brain and body tissues of oxygen

 

Effect of Opiates in the  Digestive System

  • opiates disturb the digestive process and can lead to constipation because of the slow movement of the digestive track
  • The slowed movement can lead to more serious health complications.
  • like bowel obstruction, peritonitis even bowel perforation
  • Abusive use of opioid painkillers can cause involuntary vomiting and nausea

 

Effect of Opiates in the Nervous System  

  • people who develop hyperalgesia can have an increased sensitivity to pain
  • opioids can lead to psychomotor disability, which slows down the physical movement of a person
  • drug abuse of opiates can also generate loss of body coordination

 

Effect of Opiates in the Immune System

  • opioids can weaken the immune system
  • This can lead to the exposure to infection because opioid receptors engaged in the regulation of immunity.

 

 Effect of Opiates in the   Liver

  • acetaminophen in painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet can cause liver damage
  • another harmful effect of opiates in the body is when the drug is mix with alcohol. The mixture can promote reduction of the liver’s ability to process the chemical of the toxic combination of ethanol and acetaminophen

 

The Effects of Injecting Opiates

  • injecting heroin or crushed pills into the system can cause interstitial lung disease

septic pulmonary embolism and tuberculosis infection

  • sharing needles can lead to hepatitis C and a higher chance of contracting HIV
  • Chronic heroin or injecting crushed pill can lead veins to collapse
  • injection of heroin can lead to an infection in the heart’s lining known as endocarditis
  • contaminants in heroin can block blood vessels and can cause organ failure

 

 

Oxycodone Addiction and Pain Relief: Oxycodone – The Addictive Painkiller

Chronic pain is treated with a variety of opiates, but a growing number of patients are prescribed oxycodone for chronic pain and subsequently falling into oxycodone addiction. The drug has been proclaimed as one of the best ways to treat chronic pain, but along with the good, oxycodone can trap patients in psychological and physical addiction. Oxycodone addiction is not unlike any other addiction to opiates, but being one of the most potent pain killers, it comes with the highest rate of accidental overdose leading to numerous deaths since its introduction to the market.

For What Type of Pain is Oxycodone Used?

Oxycodone is given to patients who have received chronic or long term painful side effects from extensive trauma or disease. It is categorized as a Schedule II legal narcotic, meaning it requires a prescription from a doctor. The medication is normally prescribed to older patients with moderate to severe pain. Because of its high rate of addiction, oxycodone is not normally prescribed to younger people. Oxycodone addiction is commonly attributed to chronic pain patients who need daily relief and no other option is available.

Side Effects of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant, so many of the side effects involve breathing capabilities. Some of the common side effects that are associated with even small amounts of oxycodone are nausea, vomiting, constipation, mild itching, drowsiness, shallow breathing, dry mouth, dizziness, loss of appetite, or muscle weakness.

The most common of these side effects is constipation and shallow breathing. Constipation can be controlled with regular intake of fiber, water, and regular exercise. Shallow breathing leading to pulmonary failure is a common side effect attributed to oxycodone death. For this reason, oxycodone should never be mixed with other central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Valium.

Alcohol and Oxycodone

One of the most common causes of death from oxycodone addiction is the mixture with alcohol. Oxycodone addiction leaves the patient with a tolerance where they believe the drug is out of their system. Subsequently, patients who drink alcohol don’t realize that alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant and it synergizes with oxycodone causing a loss of breathing that can be dangerous and even fatal. Oxycodone should never be taken with any type of depressant including alcohol.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

Even if taken as prescribed, oxycodone addiction creeps up on many patients. Some signs of addiction are insomnia, muscle and bone pain, sweats, chronic vomiting and nausea, stomach cramping, and muscle twitching.

If you feel your loved one is trapped by oxycodone addiction, it is imperative that he or she seek treatment. Addicts go through several withdrawal symptoms, so medical care and observation are usually needed to ensure safe cessation from the drug.

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