Opioid Addiction and Recovery

If you’ve been struggling with opioid addiction, you’re probably in a vulnerable position. While it may seem as if drugs serve a necessary purpose in your life, they are actually holding you back. At Calusa Recovery we want to provide you with the information you need to better understand your addiction, so you can make the decision that leads to getting back on track and realizing your full potential.

If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids and need help please call 844-254-9664.

Opiates are a class of drugs often prescribed for pain relief due to illness, injury or surgery. They include both legal and illegal variations that are naturally derived from the poppy plant or synthetically manufactured. 

Opioid addiction is a disease resulting from dependence on the legal or illegal forms of these drugs. Many people falsely believe the prescription form of these pain killers is less risky than illicit forms, such as heroin, but the truth is far more complicated. In some cases, manufactured opioids are much stronger than heroin, and confusion regarding dosage can lead to serious complications and even death. This is one of the most dangerous addictions with a high mortality rate. Professional addiction treatment and therapy are strongly advised.

Common opioids and opiates include:

  • Hydrocodone (VicodinⓇ)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContinⓇ and PercocetⓇ) 
  • Oxymorphone (OpanaⓇ) 
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Opium

This addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that clouds the judgment of the sufferer. Realizing you have a problem and making an effort to seek information and help is the first step towards getting better. Opioid addiction can be particularly dangerous because the body becomes strongly dependent on these substances. If you’ve been taking them for more than a few weeks and tried to stop, you’ll be aware of the uncomfortable feelings that occur as a result.

Opioid Dependence

Many people who use opiates end up needing higher quantities of the substances to get the desired effects. This physical dependence is a result of chemical changes in the brain. As the brain quickly builds up a tolerance to the drug, people suffering from opioid addiction stop getting the strong sense of euphoria that they first experienced. Worse, the drug hijacks the brain’s ability to naturally create endorphins and serotonin, its own “happy” chemicals. In a desperate attempt to feel somewhat normal, opioid users increase the dosage or resort to high-risk ways of getting their fix. 

Signs of Addiction

Here are a few signs that opioid use has transformed into a dangerous addiction:

  • Spending more and more time alone away from friends and loved ones
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Lack of regard for personal hygiene
  • Low mood, anxiety, and depression
  • Weight fluctuations and changes in eating habits
  • Incoherent speech and memory lapses
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Agitation and nervousness
  • Failure to meet responsibilities such as work and school
  • Financial difficulties such as debt, stealing and poverty
  • Getting into legal problems

Long Term Effects of Opioid Use

While the short-term consequences listed above are bad enough, the long term effects are even worse. The impact of repeatedly abusing any form of opioids can lead to lasting, potentially permanent, physical and mental damage. 

Prolonged Opioid Abuse May Lead To:

  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Violent behavior
  • Bleeding ulcers
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Opioid Withdrawal 

Withdrawal affects each person differently according to many variables. Unfortunately, the discomfort of opiate withdrawal is why many users find it so difficult to break free of addiction. The good news is that a professional drug rehab facility can be by your side to ensure your safety and to make you as comfortable as possible during this challenging time. A rehab assessment will help determine the best and safest way for you to begin the recovery process.

A Few Typical Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Cramping (stomach and muscles)
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Seizures

Cravings are often overwhelming during this time and the user is often driven to seek relief by using again. If you have tried to stop using opioids on your own and failed, please know that it’s not your fault. You can succeed and the team at Calusa Recovery is ready to help you do it. 

You may feel as if opiate addiction is causing you to spiral out of control, but addiction is a treatable disease and we can help you get better, just as we’ve helped other men take back their lives. If you’re ready to make the change and begin the recovery process at our opioid treatment center in Fort Myers, Florida give us a call at 844-254-9664.