What exactly are opioids?
Around 3400 BC, the Sumerians in Mesopotamia were among the first humans to cultivate the poppy plant.It ultimately expanded throughout the ancient world, reaching every major civilisation in Europe and Asia and being used to cure pain and a variety of other diseases.
All substances that bind to opiate receptors are referred to as opioids. The term opiate is commonly used to designate opioids that are alkaloids originating from the opium poppy, such as morphine and codeine. Opioids are medications that are produced from naturally occurring opiates (such as heroin from morphine and oxycodone from thebaine), as well as synthetic opioids such as methadone, fentanyl, and propoxyphene.
Understanding the Debate Between Dependence and Addiction
The distinction between addiction and dependence might be difficult to grasp. Some organizations have different definitions, use the names interchangeably, or even refuse to use both terms at all. As a result, when people use the term “dependency,” they usually mean a physical dependence on a substance. Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms characterize dependence. While physical dependence can exist without addiction, addiction is usually just around the horizon.
On the other hand,addiction is characterized by behavioral changes generated by biochemical alterations in the brain as a result of continued substance misuse. The addict’s primary focus shifts to substance abuse, regardless of the consequences to themselves or others. When the substance to which they are hooked is not present in their system, they act erratically.
When do people become opioid dependent?
Tolerance and dependency are natural side effects of long-term opiate use. You can be tolerant or dependent on a drug without becoming addicted to it.Opioid therapy is the standard treatment for moderate to severe pain caused by cancer or other major medical diseases.Cancer patients experience a lot of pain. Almost all cancer patients have repeated episodes of acute pain, which may accompany surgery, invasive procedures, or consequences such as a pathological fracture. Furthermore, 30 to 50 percent of patients having active antineoplastic therapy and 75 to 90 percent of those with advanced illness report persistent pain severe enough to necessitate opioid medication.
However,doctors still need to titrate the opioid dosage,even when using it for the terminally ill cancer patient, because too much opioid might produce other negative effects. Side effects of opioids include drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and constipation. They may also induce slow breathing, so doctors must titrate opioids carefully before administering them.
How can I determine if I am an opioid dependent ?
Long-term drug usage alters the way in which the body functions, resulting in drug dependence. These alterations result in withdrawal symptoms when the medication is discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can be moderate or severe and include the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have been taking an opioid prescription for an extended period of time, consult with your doctor. They can help you prevent withdrawal symptoms by decreasing your dose gradually until you no longer require the medication.
What factors contribute to opioid addiction?
Opioid medicines affect your brain by producing synthetic endorphins. These endorphins make you feel wonderful in addition to preventing pain. Too much opioid use might cause your brain to become reliant on these synthetic endorphins. When your brain does this, it may even stop creating endorphins on its own. The longer you use opioids, the more likely it is that this will occur. You will also require more opioids over time because of drug tolerance.
Substance tolerance occurs when your body becomes accustomed to the effects of a drug over time. If this occurs, you may need to take a greater dose of the medication to achieve the same benefit. When taking opioids over time, a greater dose is required to achieve the same pain relief.
When you cease using an opioid for an extended period of time, your tolerance begins to decrease. If you need to start taking it again, you probably won’t require your previous higher dose. That is often too much for the body to handle. If you stop taking a medicine and subsequently restart it, consult your doctor about the appropriate dosage.
How to prevent or avoid opioid addiction?
Many people can use opioids without becoming addicted to them. However, they have a greater risk of becoming addicted. This is especially true if you use them to treat chronic pain.
In general, if you can take opioid medicines for no more than a week, you are more likely to avoid addiction. According to research, using them for more than a month can make you reliant on them.
Please doctor,assist me with my opioid addiction.
Opioid addiction is a chronic illness that requires the same care as other chronic illnesses. It, too, should be managed and checked on an ongoing basis. You should feel at ease discussing treatment with your family doctor because he or she is equipped to assist you.
Each person’s opioid addiction treatment is unique. The primary purpose of treatment is to assist you in discontinuing use of the substance. Treatment might also assist you in avoiding taking it in the future.Your body will react when you stop using opioids. You will experience a variety of symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, and anxiety. This is known as “withdrawal.”
Certain medications might be prescribed by your doctor to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. They will also assist you in controlling your urges. Methadone (commonly used to treat heroin addiction), buprenorphine, and naltrexone are examples of these medications.
Methadone and buprenorphine assist lessen withdrawal symptoms by acting on the same brain centres that opioids do. They do not give you a high. They assist in restoring balance to your brain and allowing it to recuperate. The treatments can be taken for an extended amount of time, perhaps a lifetime, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You should not discontinue them without first consulting your doctor.You can also schedule an e-consultation with one of our doctors.