Opioid Abuse

The Dangers of Opioids

Opioids are substances that are primarily used for pain relief due to their morphine-like effects. Opioids range from legal prescription painkillers such as oxycodone to illegal drugs such as heroin. While it’s possible to take painkillers without an abuse problem, opioids have become notorious for their high addiction rates. Since painkillers are often prescribed by medical professionals, it can be difficult for some users to realize that they have a substance abuse problem. However, just like with any other drug, painkillers can cause physical and emotional dependence that worsens your quality of life.

In 2015, 10 percent of all Americans suffering from a substance use disorder abused prescription pain relievers. Of all lethal drug overdoses that year, almost 40 percent were caused by prescription pain relievers and 25 percent were related to heroin. While many people do not closely associate painkillers and heroin, they are both a type of opioid with astonishingly similar effects on the brain and body. In fact, four in every five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.

Symptoms & Signs That You Need Help

Since prescription painkillers are often introduced to users by a trusted medical professional, it can be more difficult to recognize signs of abuse and admit that help is needed. To assess whether you or a loved one may have an opioid abuse problem, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you find yourself thinking about your next dose even when you’re not in pain?
  • Do you have a hard time controlling or cutting down on your use? 
  • Are you taking your medication at a higher dose or more frequently than your doctor prescribed?
  • Do you go to more than one doctor for the same prescription in order to increase your supply?
  • Do you get painkillers from unauthorized sources, such as taking them from a friend, ordering them on the Internet, or buying them on the street?
  • Have you been using painkillers for a longer time than prescribed?
  • Do you feel angry or defensive when others speak to you about your medication use?
  • Are you angrier, moodier, or more nervous than you used to be?
  • Do you sleep far more often than is usual, even through entire days?

If you find yourself answering yes to more than one of these questions, it’s advised that you speak to a health professional about possible symptoms. No matter how moderate or severe your symptoms seem, the vast majority of people with opioid abuse can benefit from treatment if they choose to accept it.

How Twin Town Can Help

Opioid abuse occurs on a spectrum, and each person’s needs are unique. If you or someone you know is ready to discuss treatment, Twin Town Treatment Centers is here to help you. Here at Twin Town, we encourage the patient to develop helpful and trusting relationships while practicing new ideas and behaviors which promote sobriety. The inability to access the drug is a big first step toward recovery, but group addiction counseling and comprehensive continuing care programs are an essential part of guaranteeing lifelong success. Our treatment helps participants understand the biological and psychological underpinnings of the disease, which helps promote long-term sobriety and a healthy lifestyle.