If you’ve ever been prescribed an opioid pain medication, you’re at risk for an opioid addiction. These medications are widely used for things like tooth pain and post-surgery pain, but they’re also highly addictive.
Opioid addiction is a serious problem that can lead to overdose or withdrawal symptoms. But what else should you know about this growing problem?
At Lori Scott Family Care, our team offers comprehensive treatment if you’re suffering from an opioid addiction. Dr. Lori Scott is an addiction specialist in Kinston, North Carolina, who provides compassionate care when you’re in need of addiction help.
What are the signs of an opioid addiction?
Opioid addiction is a serious condition that results in the abuse of medications or drugs meant for pain relief. An opioid addiction is dangerous — the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that over 2 million people abuse opioid medications in the United States and 90 people die each day due to opioid overdose.
Recognizing the signs of an opioid addiction can truly save your life. Some of the signs to look out for in opioid addiction include:
- Slurred speech
- Missing appointments
- Sleeping at strange hours
- Neglecting responsibility
- Getting in trouble with the law
- Talking without making sense
Anyone who is prescribed opioid medications has the potential to become addicted. These medications are highly addictive, but your own history and how long you take the medication play a role in your chances of developing an addiction.
Understanding the risk factors for opioid addiction
Why can some people take the medications and not become addicted, while others steal or buy these drugs for the purpose of getting high? There are a number of risk factors that play into opioid addiction, and they include:
- Family history of addiction
- Younger age
- Heavy tobacco use
- Risky behaviors
- Extreme stress
- Depression or anxiety
- High-risk friendships
- Legal issues or criminal activity
Even if you’ve had major surgery and need the medications to get through the pain, your chances of becoming dependent and addicted to the drugs is a real threat.
What else do you need to know?
There is much about opioid addiction that people are unaware of. The statistics alone are astonishing when it comes to this form of addiction. Here are a few more facts that you might not know about opioids:
Drug addiction can be genetic
As many as 50% of people addicted to opioids have another addict in the family. It’s true that drug addiction can be partly genetic, running in families in some instances.
There are illegal and legal opioids
Oxycodone, morphine, and codeine are all forms of opioids that are prescribed as pain medications. These are considered legal drugs, although they’re still abused. Heroin and street fentanyl are illegal opioids that can be cut with other substances, making them very dangerous to your health.
Fentanyl is extremely strong
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid medication — 50 times more potent than morphine. That makes it dangerous when it’s used illegally as a way to get high. Fentanyl is also being combined on the streets with heroin, causing more overdoses and deaths.
Suboxone saves lives
Suboxone is a medication that combines naloxone and buprenorphine, and it has the power to undo the effects of opioids on your body. Naloxone is considered an opioid antagonist, meaning it binds to opioid receptors in your brain and blocks the effects of the drug.
It’s shocking that over 2 million Americans are addicted to opioid drugs. Dr. Scott and her team help those with an opioid addiction overcome the disease through therapy and treatment.
If you’d like more information on opioid addiction treatment, don’t hesitate to call our office today at 252-238-7079 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott. You can also book a consultation online.