What are Opioid Drugs?

Opioids are very powerful Schedule II Controlled Substance painkillers that have a high potential for abuse. These medications are typically given to patients who suffer from chronic or acute pain, in situations where other pain medications don’t work. Prescription opioid drugs include fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and many others. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid.

These prescription painkillers are often used during and following surgeries to relieve pain, or to help lessen the chronic pain of certain medical conditions and injuries. Most opioid drugs have a relatively short half-life, which means that they enter and leave the blood stream fairly quickly. They work by obstructing the paths from the area where the pain originates to your brain. Opioids are unlike non-prescription pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications, which affect the actual site of the pain.

Many people who start out using opioids that are prescribed by their doctor for a legitimate reason eventually become dependent or addicted to the medication. They begin to build a tolerance to the medication, which leads to taking more than was prescribed, more frequently, and they quickly become physically dependent or addicted to the drug.

What is an Opioid Rehab in Arizona?

In the U.S., there isn’t any demographic that is unaffected by the opioid epidemic that’s ravaging the country. It’s an epidemic that doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone, from any walk of life. More and more Americans are losing their lives or the lives of their loved ones due to opioid overdoses and addiction every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it’s been reported that the current state of the epidemic is following the same path that it has been for the last 20 years (that’s when opioid painkillers started becoming widely prescribed). Since then, more than 200,000 deaths due to these powerful painkillers prescribed by doctors have occurred, and that number continues to increase.

Fortunately, if you are suffering with opioid dependence or addiction, you can find help at an opioid rehab. Professional addiction treatment is often the only way that people can break their addiction to prescription painkillers and begin a life of recovery. In a treatment program, you will learn about addiction, new coping skills, relapse prevention techniques, and much more. Often times, you’ll receive therapy in rehab that helps identify underlying issues that contribute to your drug abuse. Armed with this and with an effective treatment plan, you can turn your life around and live drug-free.

What Are the Risks of Opioid Abuse?

Taking opioid drugs for a period of time can cause some negative effects on your body and brain, especially if you are consuming them other than how they’re prescribed. The biggest risk of opioid abuse is addiction, which can lead to overdose. Every year there are more drug deaths from opioids than the year before, and that’s a scary statistic to deal with.

Of course, there are many additional risks that come with opioid abuse that don’t result in death but are still extremely serious. Because opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract, those areas can be damaged when the medications are abused. Here are some of the symptoms that people may experience with opioid abuse:

Loss of memory
Trouble walking
Headaches or migraine
Trouble with speech
Paresthesia – tingling sensations
Shaking or tremors
Hypertonia – increased muscle tension
Hyperkinesia – hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate
Hypoesthesia – reduced ability to feel physical sensation
Respiratory depression
Hypotension – low blood pressure
Reduced heart rate
Additionally, opioid abuse can be harmful to the major organs of the body. The heart, liver, and lungs are especially vulnerable:
Heart – When opioid abuse occurs, it lowers your heart rate. This in itself can lead to cardiac arrest. However, it’s also extremely dangerous to the heart when opioid drugs are stopped abruptly. In this situation, the heart rate can rebound and increase too much. This can also cause a heart attack. Additionally, when you abuse opioid medications, you run the risk of endocarditis, which is when the heart’s inner lining becomes infected, affecting the heart valves.
Liver – Opioid painkillers, in any dose, can be harmful to the liver, even if your liver was healthy previously. If you had liver problems before taking opioid medications, those problems can be exacerbated.
Lungs – Opioid medications shouldn’t be used by people who have respiratory issues like asthma. They can cause depressed breathing and shortness of breath, which can quickly become life-threatening for someone with respiratory issues.

What Are the Benefits of Opioid Rehab?

If you are struggling with addiction to opioid drugs, treatment in an opioid rehab is your best option. Getting clean and sober from drugs requires not only breaking the physical dependence, but also addressing the underlying conditions and behavioral issues that have caused the addiction. Simply stopping cold turkey, even if you can, doesn’t make the psychological aspects of drug addiction go away. Rather, treatment involves learning new ways to think, feel, and behave.

Attending rehab will help you in a number of ways. You’ll get the education about addiction and how it takes over to better help you understand how you got to the point where you are. You will also learn coping skills that have eluded you that will allow you to deal with triggers without using drugs.

One of the major benefits of rehab is the peer support you will have. It’s very helpful to have a network of supporters who understand exactly what you are going through. Not only can they provide you with an outlet to discuss your progress in recovery, they can also offer help based on their own experiences.

Who Should Attend and Opioid Rehab in Arizona?

Anyone who has been prescribed opioid painkillers is at risk of becoming physically dependent and addicted to the medication. It doesn’t take long for your body to become used to functioning with opioids in its system. Once that happens, it may feel like the prescribed dosage is no longer working effectively. That frequently leads to taking more, or taking it more often, to achieve the same amount of relief. Thus, begins the cycle of addiction – and it can happen in a very short amount of time.

If this describes your situation, it may be time to seek help at an opioid rehab. Opioid addiction treatment is for anyone who feels they have a problem with opioids, whether it’s a physical dependence that you cannot seem to overcome or a full-blown addiction that is taking over your life. Rehab can help and recovery is possible.

What to Look for in an Opioid Rehab in Arizona?

Choosing the right rehab for your particular needs can be daunting. There are many treatment centers out there, and it’s hard to know what exactly to look for. There are some questions that you can ask that may help you narrow down your search. Here are some of them:

What level of care do you need? Is outpatient enough, or should you consider inpatient?
Do you want to attend a local program, or is traveling for treatment an option?
What are the costs of treatment, and which programs align with your insurance and budget?
Is there family participation in the program?
Is the treatment center accredited and licensed? What about the qualifications of the staff?
Does the program address co-occurring disorders if you need that?
What type of aftercare does the program offer?
These are just a handful of questions to think about, you may find that you have more or less. The important thing is to not be afraid to ask. Be sure that you choose based on the type of program you want and that meets your needs.

How Can Stonewall Help with Opioid Addiction?

The good news about opioid addiction is that it is treatable, and that recovery is possible. Attending opioid rehab, like Stonewall Institute, is one way to get treatment and begin a life in recovery. Treatment at Stonewall focuses on giving clients the help they need to stop using opioids and life a better, drug-free life.

At Stonewall, our caring and capable staff will work with you to identify underlying conditions that are contributing to your addiction, provide addiction education, coping and life skills, and relapse prevention techniques. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Please contact us at (602)-535-6468 and a member of our intake team will help you get started.