Opioids are a class of pain-relieving drugs. They include prescription painkillers like OxyContin, codeine and morphine as well as street drugs such as heroin. Chiefly used to treat severe pain, opioids work by affecting the areas of the brain that sense pain. While opioids are useful in treating the severe pain associated with surgery and diseases such as cancer, these drugs are also highly addictive, largely because they can create a sense of euphoria in some people. Prescription opioid abuse has become a major public health crisis in the United States.
Sovereign Health provides opioid addiction treatment and detox programs to help patients overcome their addiction and reclaim control of their lives. Our staff also diagnoses and treats any underlying mental health disorders that contribute to the addiction to provide the best possible chance at a full and lasting recovery.
Opioids can be abused in a variety of ways. Even continuing to take painkillers after the medical problem requiring their use has passed is drug abuse. Opioid pills can be ground up and snorted – a dangerous method often resulting in overdose – or mixed with water and injected. Heroin can be smoked, snorted in powder form and injected as well. This makes opioid addiction treatment very difficult.
Initially, most users abuse opioids simply because it feels good – the pain-dulling effects of the drug can create a sense of euphoria in some users. However, the body builds up a tolerance to the effects of opioids over time, requiring users to use increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects. Eventually, users will experience severe flu-like symptoms when they don’t take the drug. This is withdrawal. Opioid addiction becomes less about seeking the initial euphoric rush, and more of a way to escape withdrawal’s effects.