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What are the Signs of Vicodin Abuse?

No fewer than 20% of adults worldwide were affected by chronic or acute pain in 2019, according to the CDC. Pain medication is the standard answer to pain. As a result, addiction is a genuine concern and becoming more prevalent than ever. With pain being the number one reason for disability in the US, the chance of abuse of medications to relieve pain is considerable. One in four American adults becomes addicted to opioid medications. With these alarming statistics, education is essential to battle the addiction problem. The signs of Vicodin abuse need to be at the forefront and addressed if seen.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opioid prescription pain medication containing both hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The hydrocodone element in Vicodin causes this drug to have highly addictive properties. However, designed to address severe, chronic, and acute pain, the properties of Vicodin point to affecting more than the central nervous system. The significant signs of Vicodin abuse need to be addressed immediately.  

Vicodin produces pleasurable feelings to entice the user to use more. Feelings of relaxation, contentment, well-being, and an out-of-body experience are side effects of the drug. When the user enjoys these effects too much, the signs of Vicodin abuse may begin to show. Tolerance is also dangerous when the body needs more drugs to perform the same results.

What are the Signs of Vicodin Abuse?

The signs of Vicodin abuse can vary with the individual, the amount used, and the length of addiction. True of any addiction, the ease with which one can become addicted when prescribed Vicodin is the differential. Following the prescription’s guidelines can allow for tolerance to be built with the drug. The tolerance build-up may tempt the user to reach for more than the prescribed amount.

The following symptoms and signs are behavioral, physical, cognitive, and social. In addition, they may include the following and other possible symptoms not listed here. It is essential to watch for the signs of Vicodin abuse and talk to your loved one or doctor about the possibilities of addiction. Early intervention is always the best option.

Signs and symptoms to watch for in Vicodin abuse:

  • Changes in priorities causing absences from work or school
  • Quality of performance shift in work or school
  • Ignoring home and family responsibilities
  • Disorientation from family and friends
  • Ignoring hobbies or rituals that were once significant
  • Prolonged usage of Vicodin beyond prescriptions directions
  • Doctor shopping to get additional prescriptions of Vicodin
  • Slurred speech and slower movements
  • Depression, anxiety, and possible moodiness
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • Either increased drowsiness or insomnia
  • Constricted pupils
  • Impairment of judgments, concentration or focus
  • Memory problems
  • An urge or craving for the drug
  • Suicidal thoughts are occurring

What are the Effects of Vicodin Addiction?

Despite the signs of Vicodin abuse, the user will ignore or live with the effects of addiction. Damage to the user’s lifestyle and personal characteristics brings discomfort and negative consequences. Short of total implosion of work, family, and all 

relationships, the addict hangs onto the drug for support. If your loved one is stuck in the throes of Vicodin addiction, now is the time to act. 

The following effects can occur from Vicodin addiction:

  • Relationship problems with spouse, children, extended family, and friends
  • Financial disruptions can occur, loss of income, job, and savings
  • Educational troubles, loss of scholarships, unable to attend classes or do work
  • Legal issues from being arrested, disruptive behaviors, and accidents from driving under the influence
  • Social isolation and distancing
  • Damage to body organs, generally the liver and heart
  • Physical symptoms, itchiness, vomiting, seizures, jaundice, and weight loss
  • Mental illness, co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, and paranoia

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Learning about the signs of Vicodin abuse, withdrawal symptoms, and the timeline involved with detox is essential. After that, anyone who decides to stop using can get treatment and detox. Once the user stops drug use, withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of the last dose. Detox is dangerous for the body, so medically monitored detox is the best choice. 

Physical symptoms from withdrawal are further signs of Vicodin abuse. Symptoms continue to escalate until the 2-4 day timeline. Symptoms can persist for fourteen days, and in severe cases, they can last for months. During this withdrawal time, the body reacts in the following ways. For example,

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as cramps and constipation
  • Flu-like symptoms such as body aches, sweating and feeling sick
  • Severe cravings for the drug
  • Unable to think clearly, feelings of disorientation and confusion
  • Feelings of excessive sleepiness and then inability to sleep at all

Get Help for Vicodin Addiction

Once the signs of Vicodin abuse are unmistakable, addiction in full throes, it is time to make the decision to leave it behind and start a new sober life. Gathering up the strength to press forward seems impossible, but you real person inside of the chaos wants to be set free. This is the exceedingly difficult transition of addiction. The all consuming decision to quit using is the first step. 

At Retreat of Atlanta, the detox process can begin after assessment. Our experienced detox staff provide medically monitored detox, leading into an individual treatment program. The signs of Vicodin abuse provide the urgency in reaching out for help. Recovery is possible, take the plunge.

Find Help for Vicodin Abuse at Retreat of Atlanta in Georgia

When you can hear your inner self crying out for a sober healthy life, move quickly on that thought. Without that yearning, it is difficult to make the commitment for treatment. Retreat of Atlanta is ready to work with you through these painful beginnings and help with the initial step to get sober. We can walk you through detox, treatment and aftercare if needed. Most importantly, you are not alone. Contact us to put your decision into motion.

Find Treatment for Synthetic Drug Addiction in Atlanta, GA

The dangers of synthetic drugs are extreme. Understanding synthetic drug addiction is essential in making the prompt decision to get help and detox. Overdose and death are the powerful possibilities of an addiction to these drugs. Contact us to enroll in our professional detox program before starting a recovery treatment program.

How Does Drug Rehab Aftercare Work?

After a successful struggle with detox and treatment, the topic of drug rehab aftercare has emerged in your conversations. Finally, when you believe you have reached the goal, there is another option to consider. While drug rehab aftercare may be a surprise, the truth about how hard it will be to maintain sobriety is no secret. However, drug rehab aftercare dramatically increases the chances of long-term sober living. In addition, preventing relapse is never a waste of time or energy. 

Drug rehab aftercare can address the fear and trepidation that can follow treatment. Unfamiliar with sober living, some participants need additional support to move forward. Independence is a new concept after being in therapy. These programs can give an added boost of confidence needed to prevent relapse.

What is Drug Rehab Aftercare?

This treatment modality is an option for individuals who have completed detox and a treatment program. Aftercare addresses any individual weakness that could lead to relapse. After deciding to become sober and spending time and money on treatment, it would be highly prudent to work on any remaining symptoms that could lead back to addiction. Relapse protection, you can consider aftercare as an additional measure to prevent relapse.

Drug rehab aftercare is another tool to maintain momentum and motivation in an early sober experience. The addict needs to remember that addiction is a chronic, relapsing and lifelong disease to be successful. For those with an extreme addiction, 30 to 90 days of treatment may not be enough to begin a sober journey. Aftercare can be a necessary process in treatment and recovery from addiction.

Is Drug Rehab Aftercare Required?

Drug rehab aftercare is never required unless ordered by a court, but the treatment team may strongly advise it. Streamlining the recovery process to include aftercare is encouraged for those needing additional therapy, casework, and other lifestyle skills. Drug rehab aftercare builds a stronger foundation for sober living. New occupational or education skills and different support groups can be found while developing a stronger sense of self and confidence.

What are the Benefits of Drug Rehab Aftercare?

The benefits of this process are priceless. The frustrations involved with the initial months of sober living can be resolved with aftercare. In addition, support is essential for a newly sober addict. Ongoing therapy and participation in support groups are continuing in aftercare. 

Depending on the individual need, the aftercare program may include sober living accommodations. Developing the life skills and strategies learned in treatment strengthens self-esteem, and accomplishments incur a sense of pride. In addition, some sober living communities accept animals, and building a bond with an animal helps develop relationship skills. Drug rehab aftercare can also help with the following:

  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Legal assistance
  • Educational goals and assistance
  • Housing needs
  • Ongoing mentoring for mental or physical needs
  • Relapse prevention
  • Group activities to promote healthy relationship skills

Other proven aftercare programs effective for improving long-term sobriety and preventing relapse can include:

  • Continuing therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is traditional and has been the most popular therapy. Holistic therapies have also proved successful in aftercare programs. Art therapy could provide relaxation and spur a new hobby. 
  • Case Management: Having a person to connect with when in need is always a promising prospect in aftercare. Some need to be held accountable for making progress. Case management can be a perfect fit for an individualized program. 
  • Sober living homes: Some may need more time to be ready to start a solo living arrangement after the treatment. Sober living homes provide structure and freedom beyond inpatient treatment centers. 
  • Alumni programs: Keeping in touch with others in treatment is an incredible support structure. Sign up for these programs when available.

Finding an Aftercare Program for Recovery

Aftercare drug rehab programs can be specialized and geared toward the abused substance. For example, for those addicted to alcohol, a strong urge to drink when faced with stress could tempt the addict to drink and relapse. Aftercare is additional support to help get through those trying times. Peer support group meetings are incredibly successful. 

Substance aftercare rehab programs follow up with the addict to ensure all issues have a resolution. Some program services check back in week one, month one, and then at three, six, and nine months. Programs can run psychological assessments to see the progress of the journey. A review of emerging needs can suggest additional directions for the future. Drug rehab aftercare is an essential part of the longevity of sobriety. 

The treatment facility or team that worked with the addict to resolve the initial treatment process can advise the best aftercare program for the addict’s needs. They observed the treatment process and can identify potential problem areas. Communities have special programs geared toward aftercare rehab programs. Checking with the community recreation centers, churches, and 12-step groups will provide more support possibilities for meetings and support.

Find Drug Rehab Aftercare in Atlanta, GA

Drug rehab aftercare programs are available after detox and treatment with Retreat of Atlanta, GA. Our professional staff has experience in helping our patients maintain sobriety after their treatment program is over. In addition, we are familiar with programs throughout the area that can offer additional support group meetings. Contact us now to stay sober and prevent relapse by participating in our aftercare programs.

What are the Effects and Dangers of Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs are available in stores, gas stations, and streets. The dangers of synthetic drugs are cause for concern. Producers of synthetic drugs work in illicit labs with no control or regulation. The ingredients are questionable and present the most significant danger when mixed with other medications. Overdose and death from dangerous drug interactions can occur with synthetic drugs thought to be safe because of over-the-counter availability.  The popularity of synthetic drugs, referred to as club drugs or designer drugs, has grown because of their availability.

What are Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs are drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, and LSD. The dangers of synthetic drugs remain constant, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate them. In addition, the ingredients used by the illicit labs that produce these substances often state “not fit for human consumption.” While the cost of synthetic drugs might be attractive, the hazards they present are not worth any money.

Types of Synthetic Drugs

Drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs are attractive for psychedelic or psychoactive effects. The dangers of synthetic drugs come from untested and unpredictable side effects. Sources such as illegal labs and importation from China and other countries have attractive names. The two most common synthetic drugs have the same effects as stimulants.

The following drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs are common synthetic drugs on the market today. Unfortunately, the consequences of taking these substances can be very unpredictable. The dangers of synthetic drugs include overdose and death. Combined with alcohol, these substances are brutal on the body.

  • Spice, K2, Yucatan Fire, Blaze, Bliss, and Skunk. These compounds simulate cannabinoids or weed. They mimic plant-based marijuana but can be as much as 100 times more potent, affecting cannabinoid receptors in the brain more intensely.
  • Bath salts. Synthetic cathinones or stimulants can include MDPV, methylone, or mephedrone. Snorting bath salts compared to snorting ten lines of cocaine in one dose. Bath salts affect heart rate, blood pressure, body temp, focus, and energy.
  • Flakka or Gravel. This synthetic cathinone has hallucinogenic effects, with the active ingredient alpha-PVP. Even a tiny grain can severely affect the user.
  • Smiles, 2C-I-MBOMe and 2C-C-NBOMe. A synthetic hallucinogenic drug similar to LSD.
  • DMT, AMT, Foxy, Nexus, and Blue Mystic. Tryptamines and phenethylamines are psychoactive substances producing hallucinations similar to LSD and mescaline.
  • Molly, Ecstasy, or MDMA. A mind-altering stimulant cut with unknown chemicals.

What are the Effects of Synthetic Drugs?

Drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs or synthetic drugs, can change the brain, affecting mood, cognitive abilities, impulse control, and pleasure. Distorting the senses, causing hallucinations, and psychotic side effects, the dangers of synthetic drugs are many. In addition, effects from the neurotransmitters being misled by the synthetic drugs, can interfere with many of the body’s functions.

Increased norepinephrine levels from Flakka or bath salts can affect the central nervous system and produce the following effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Raised body temperature
  • Decreased need for sleep and eating
  • Increased energy and excitability

Spice may have the opposite effects on the central nervous system as a depressant and produce the following effects:

  • It slows down the heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increases feelings of mellowness and euphoria

What are the Dangers of Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs or drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs contain many unknown chemicals or compounds. The dangers of synthetic drugs include the unpredictable nature of their side effects. With unknown ingredients, the possibility of lethal combinations is always a risk. An increased chance of overdose and death from unknown drug ingredients and interactions.

Dangerous effects of synthetic drugs include:

  • Increased erratic behaviors
  • Suicide and self-harming behaviors
  • Violent behavior
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Physical and chemical changes to the brain and body

Are Synthetic Drugs Addictive?

Synthetic drugs hold the misconception that they are safe and not addictive because you can purchase them legally. On the contrary, drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs are highly addictive and are not safe. This belief can add to the dangers of synthetic drugs because of that false sense of security.  The truth about the addictive nature of synthetic drugs is they are possibly more addictive and dangerous than their natural counterparts.

Finding Treatment for Addiction to Synthetic Drugs

Finding treatment for addiction to synthetic drugs will undoubtedly begin with a professional detox program. Being addicted to drugs made to imitate the effects of other drugs can complicate the detoxification process. The unknown can be a dangerous detox component without knowing what chemical compounds are involved with the synthetic drugs. Withdrawal effects and time frames tend to vary with synthetic drug detox.

Around-the-clock monitoring with medical personnel on site is vital. Detox can be challenging, and keeping the patient from harming themselves may be required. The medically monitored detox from synthetic drugs is a puzzle of unknowns. For this reason, experienced professionals need to be present at all times. Typical therapy, including individual, group, and family counseling, must follow detox.

Find Treatment for Synthetic Drug Addiction in Atlanta, GA

The dangers of synthetic drugs are extreme. Understanding synthetic drug addiction is essential in making the prompt decision to get help and detox. Overdose and death are the powerful possibilities of an addiction to these drugs. Contact us to enroll in our professional detox program before starting a recovery treatment program.

The Dangers Of Mixing Klonopin And Alcohol

The dangers of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol can be both severe and long-lasting. Every year, thousands of Americans are injured, hospitalized, and even killed as a direct result of mixing alcohol with medication. Klonopin poses a great danger when a person mixes it with alcohol. By learning the effects of mixing Klonopin with alcohol, one can recognize the dangers of drug abuse and save a life. Arming oneself with knowledge can mean the difference between a new lease on life and tragedy.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin, also known by the generic name “Clonazepam,” is a prescription drug that is classified as a benzodiazepine or “benzo.” As a benzo, Klonopin has addictive traits that can make it a nightmare for both users and their families alike. As a sedative, doctors prescribe Klonopin for seizures, panic disorders, and anxiety. While generally considered safe when used as prescribed, mixing Klonopin with alcohol is a much different story. Even without alcohol, Klonopin can be dangerous and should only be taken if and when prescribed by a physician.

The Effects of Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol

When mixing Klonopin and alcohol, the effects can be devastating and even life-threatening. As a depressant, alcohol slows down mental and respiratory functions. Klonopin, as a sedative, also slows and depresses the body’s brain and respiratory functions. This means that when mixing Klonopin and alcohol, the depressive and sedative effects can overload the body. 

These effects can shut down various brain and respiratory functions as well as lead to seizures, strokes, and other dangerous medical conditions. It is always best not to mix alcohol with depressant drugs.

The Dangers of Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can harm both a person’s mind and body. The effects of mixing these substances can be felt in both the short- and long-term, and, in some cases, are even lethal. Unlike many other drugs that erode one’s health over time, it only takes one instance of mixing Klonopin with alcohol for lasting physical and mental health issues.

The dangers of mixing Klonopin with alcohol may include the following:

  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Liver failure
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues
  • Headache

These effects may vary in severity depending upon both the quantity and volume used, as well as other factors.

Dependence on Klonopin and Alcohol

Each year, thousands of Americans struggle with Klonopin and alcohol dependence. Likewise, each year thousands of Americans also reclaim their freedom from dependency and begin living the drug and alcohol-free lives that they deserve. Dependency can be a difficult road to travel, but there is hope. With proper support, one can effectively set themselves or their loved one up for a full, long-lasting, and healthy recovery.

Signs of a Klonopin Overdose

Spotting the signs of a Klonopin overdose can mean the difference between saving a life and tragedy. Like many other benzos, Klonopin can be easy to overdose on when misused or taken other than as prescribed. When looking for signs of Klonopin overdose, there are a few key things a person should watch out for.

Signs of a Klonopin overdose include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Impaired judgment
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Motion sickness
  • Confusion
  • Numbness
  • Vertigo

Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Klonopin Addiction

When finding treatment for co-occurring alcohol and Klonopin addiction, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. Firstly, one must always consider the benefits of medically assisted care when finding addiction treatment. Having a group of professionals at your back can make all the difference between a successful recovery and continued suffering. 

Solo withdrawal without support is not recommended. When one attempts a solo withdrawal, they not only put themselves in greater danger, but they also increase their likelihood of relapse. By finding a system of support, one gives themselves the greatest odds of a successful and long-lasting recovery. 

Find Treatment for Klonopin and Alcohol Addiction in Atlanta, GA

Here at Retreat of Atlanta, we are here with open arms to help you every step of the way during your recovery journey. Located in Eatonton, Georgia, our inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center provides a safe space, free of the stressors that often trigger a relapse. We understand the complex nature of drug and alcohol addiction. We also have seen how effective treatment can undo much of the harm done by addiction. Our qualified team of professionals is ready to give you the tools needed to overcome your addiction for good.

There has never been a better time to regain control of your life. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your recovery journey.

 

How To Tell If Someone Is Addicted To Prescription Drugs

The popularity of prescription drugs has skyrocketed over the course of the last 50 years. As technological advancements add to our lives, so too, has the field of medicine seen tremendous strides. Along with these positive changes, adverse effects of the modern amenities we enjoy as Americans also rise. One of these adverse effects is the epidemic of prescription drug addiction. Every person in America has likely had prescription drug addiction touch their lives in one way or another, whether personally or by way of a loved one. Therefore, knowing how to tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs can make the difference between saving a life and tragedy. 

Are Prescription Drugs Addictive?

Generally, it is safe to assume that some prescription drugs are addictive. Some prescriptions have addictive properties that can make even a single use dangerous. It is important to acknowledge that, when taken as prescribed, most prescription drugs are safe and effective. However, some have side effects that outweigh any benefits. 

The pharmaceutical industry is a business, first and foremost, and it is no secret that some products are highly addictive and dangerous. It is always crucial to take prescription drugs as prescribed, as misusing them can increase their dangers. Now that we know that prescription drugs are addictive, let’s answer the question: How to tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs?

How to Tell if Someone is Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug addiction often comes with many tell-tale signs of misuse. Devastatingly potent, prescription drugs can wreak havoc on a person’s mind and body. Depending on the type of drug used, the symptoms can vary greatly. Along with the type of drug, the duration of use, the volume of use, and other factors determine the severity of addiction symptoms.

Generally, all prescription drug addictions may include some of the following behaviors:

  • Abnormal hostility
  • Crushing/snorting pills
  • Appearing intoxicated
  • Theft
  • Drug-seeking behaviors
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Lethargy
  • Changes to eating/sleeping patterns

Dangers of Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction can lead to a host of negative side effects and presents the user with many dangerous scenarios. Overdose is a common danger of prescription drug addiction. This is because users often need more of a given drug to feel the same effects as their original use. In seeking to attain these effects, many users accidentally overdose in the process. 

Another danger of prescription drug use is the erosion of the prefrontal cortex of one’s brain. This area of the brain is largely responsible for impulse control, mood regulation, and even personality traits. During prolonged prescription drug abuse, one can do irreparable damage to one’s brain, leading to a host of physical and mental health issues. Aside from the aforementioned, the withdrawal symptoms of prescription drugs can cause health issues ranging from minor injury to death. 

Prescription Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Now that we have identified how to tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs, we can discuss the withdrawal symptoms of prescription drugs. By learning about prescription drug withdrawal, one can not only identify an active prescription drug user, but also a user having withdrawal.

Prescription drug withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating 
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bone pain
  • Dilated pupils

How to Get Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

While prescription drug addiction can be terrifying, there is hope. Every year, thousands of Americans reclaim their independence from prescription drug addiction and kick the habit for good. Thus, with the right support, you can give yourself or a loved one the best shot at a successful recovery and a new lease on life.

Withdrawing alone is never recommended, as it can have devastating and tragic consequences. Those who attempt solo withdrawal are far more likely to have adverse effects and are at a higher risk of relapse. In seeking out the appropriate support system, one gives themselves or their loved one the highest probability of a successful, long-term recovery. They also mitigate the risks and dangers of withdrawal.

Find Help for Prescription Drug Addiction in Atlanta, GA

Here at Retreat of Atlanta, we are here with open arms to help you every step of the way during your recovery. Located near Atlanta, Georgia, we provide a tranquil space for healing. Our inpatient drug and alcohol detox program allow for the removal of stress and triggers, giving you the best chance for a safe and lasting recovery. There has never been a better time to reclaim your freedom from addiction. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your recovery journey.

How Do Opiates Affect The Brain?

Over the last two decades, opiates have swiftly become one of the most widely used and misused drugs in America. Easily, accessible, widely available, and highly addictive, opiates are uniquely positioned to have devastatingly negative effects on the lives of users due to how opiates affect the brain. Each year between 30 and 70 thousand Americans lose their lives at the hands of opiate misuse. In 2020 alone, 68,000 Americans died as a result of opiates. 

Knowing the dangers of opiate use and learning the next steps in the recovery process can be key in not only saving one’s own life but the life of a loved one as well. So how do opiates affect the brain? What makes them so lethal? In this post, we will analyze these questions and seek to provide insights into the effects of opiates on the human brain.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a classification of drugs that specifically target opioid receptors in the brain. By acting on opioid receptors, the brain produces morphine-like effects on the body. Because of this, opiates primarily treat physical pain. This adds to their highly addictive properties and makes anyone experiencing physical pain susceptible to opioid misuse. Opiates come in many forms. These range from pharmaceutical prescription pain relievers like OxyContin and Percocet to synthetic opiates such as fentanyl and heroin. 

Often prescribed for anything from small injuries to major surgeries, the wide range of ailments that can be treated with opiates also greatly raises the likelihood of experiencing opiate dependency. Opiates are known to addict users after a small number of uses, unlike many drugs that require more extensive and persistent use to develop a lasting dependency. Because of this potency and the wide-ranging availability of opiates, they have become a formidable foe when battling both dependency and overdose. 

How Exactly do Opiates Affect the Brain?

After learning what opiates are, you may be asking: how do opiates affect the brain? Opiates affect the brain by acting on opioid receptors. These receptors are found primarily in the central and peripheral nervous system, as well as in the gastrointestinal tract. Opioid receptors mediate both the somatic and psychoactive effects of opioids. Often, the euphoria caused by opioid use is a key factor in recreational use and misuse. As a result, recreational misuse of the drug is one of the largest factors in leading one to dependency. 

In many cases, a user will be prescribed an opiate legally, for example, after major surgery. Ideally, the user takes the opiate as prescribed for the pain and discontinues use once the prescription’s purpose is fulfilled. However, things can be a bit messier in reality. Many people begin taking an opiate as prescribed but, as the pain wears off, they continue using the drug. This is where many experience the “euphoric” effects meant to dull severe pain rather than be used recreationally. At this point, many using the drug legally and with a valid prescription will still find themselves wrestling with the tribulations of dependency.

Short Term Effects of Opiates on the Brain

How do opiates affect the brain in the short term? Even with a short duration of use, opiates can have major negative effects on one’s brain and body. Many users will experience these effects even when taking the drug as prescribed or after very few uses. These effects include but are not limited to:

  • Itchiness
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Euphoria 

Long Term Effects of Opiates on the Brain

How do opiates affect the brain in the long term? Being so potent as to make short-term use dangerous, you may be questioning just how bad things can get with extended opiate use. The long-term effects of opiates on the brain include symptoms like:

  • Loss of motor function
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Symptoms of ADHD
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Impulse control
  • Stroke
  • Mortality

Withdrawal Symptoms of Opiates

The highly physically and mentally addictive symptoms of opiates can lead to withdrawal that can be quite severe depending on a user’s history. Length of use, the amount used, frequency of use, and other factors can greatly vary the time in which one may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Myalgia
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Dysphoria
  • Tremor
  • Opiate cravings

Types of Treatment for Opiate Dependency

Misusing opiates can have massively negative effects on one’s brain and body. Fortunately, treatment options for opiate dependence are available, and those seeking to regain control over their dependency have options. Choosing the right support system in one’s quest for freedom from addiction can be imperative to one’s successful recovery. 

Deciding to undertake the process of recovery alone can often lead a person to relapse or continued opiate misuse. The right support system can mean the difference between a new lease on life and continued suffering at the hands of addiction. For those seeking sanctuary from opiate dependency, there are several options for treatment.

Opiate Addiction Treatment in Atlanta, GA

At Retreat of Atlanta, we are waiting with open arms to help you regain control of your life and your dependency. Located in Eatonton, GA, the Retreat of Atlanta provides a tranquil atmosphere focused on healing and recovery. With inpatient drug and alcohol recovery rehabilitation, one can tune out the distractions that can lead to relapse. Our team is ready to help you regain the stability and freedom that you deserve. Visit our admissions page today and take the first step in your recovery journey.

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