Exploring the world of painkillers. Opioid addiction is increasingly affecting people worldwide as they become addicted to drugs such as morphine, heroin, and various prescription painkillers. And opioid addiction can happen to anyone. Because these drugs are, by nature, so addictive, even short-term use, as prescribed by a doctor, can turn into an addiction that takes over one’s life. So, understanding these drugs can have an important part in not letting them take hold of you.
What are Opioids and Morphine?
So, what are opioids? Let’s first share the opioids definition. Opioids are a broad class of drugs that all have the ability to interact with opioid receptors in the body to reduce pain and increase feelings of pleasure. Opioids are commonly prescribed painkillers for those people who are in severe pain due to how ‘effective’ they are.
Let’s quickly go over the most common types of opioids available:
· Morphine: Many people wonder, is morphine an opioid? In fact, it is. Morphine was the earliest opioid to enter the pharmaceutical world and is a natural drug derived from poppies.
· Oxycodone: Oxycodone, aka oxycontin, is one of the most commonly prescribed synthetic opioids. It’s also an extremely strong opioid responsible for many overdoses that occur each year.
· Percocet: Percocet is a drug that combines oxycodone with acetaminophen, aka Tylenol.
· Hydrocodone: Hydrocodone is another commonly prescribed opioid for severe pain.
· Vicodin: Vicodin is a drug that combines hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Tylenol).
· Fentanyl: Fentanyl is an incredibly potent, extremely addictive, and highly dangerous opioid reserved for unusually severe instances of pain.
· Heroin: Heroin is a recreational opioid, classified as a street drug, that also increases feelings of pleasure and blocks pain receptors.
How Do Opioids Affect the Mind & Body?
If you’ve ever taken opioids before, you may have marveled at just how effective they were at addressing both physical and emotional pain – of course, that’s exactly what it is about them that can quickly hook someone in and lead to dependency. But how do these drugs actually work?
Opioids, in fact, work similarly to endorphins in the body, which are released to relieve pain and emotional distress by attaching to opioid receptors found in the cells of the body. When opioids interact with these receptors in the brain, they cause the brain to produce dopamine, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and relief from pain.
The problem is that the strong rush of dopamine created by opioid consumption is inherently addictive. The body begins to become dependent on it after a while, as it begins to learn that the only way to experience these positive feelings is through getting more of the same substance. At this stage, the body becomes both physically and mentally dependent on the drug.
What are the Benefits and Risks of Opioids?
At the end of the day, you never know exactly how opioids will affect you on an individual level. Everyone’s body chemistry is unique, and opioids, therefore, interact with everyone’s body differently.
Some of the positive effects people experience from opioids, which ultimately play a role in how addictive they are, include:
· Pain relief
· Relief from anxiety
· Relief from insomnia
· A feeling of general pleasure throughout the body and mind
However, there are some very undeniable side effects associated with all opioids, and these drugs are considered to be highly dangerous because they’re relatively easy to overdose on.
Opioid side effects / Morphine side effects include:
· Low appetite
· Confusion/difficulty concentrating
· Respiratory depression
· Fatal overdose
Side effects associated with longer-term use, such as:
· Increased risk of bone fractures
· Chronic constipation
· Excessive weight loss (due to the drugs’ appetite-inhibiting effects)
· Sleep-disordered breathing
Many people wonder, how long do opioids stay in your system or how long does morphine stay in your system? That’s actually a difficult question to answer. How come? Well, because it depends on so many factors, including:
· How high of a dosage you’re taking
· The quantity you’re taking
· How frequently do you take opioids
· How long you’ve been taking opioids habitually
· How your body processes opioids through the metabolism
· Other drugs in your system which may cause opioids to stay in the body for longer
· Your body weight
· Your overall health
In general, the body can detect opioids in urine for a period ranging from 2 to 7 days and in saliva for up to 4 days.This obviously matters the most if you’re going to be undergoing drug testing soon.
When Opioids Become a Problem in Your Life
As we mentioned earlier, opioids are, at the end of the day, highly addictive drugs that can become a major problem in your life, even if you’re taking them as prescribed by a doctor for a short period of time. If you at any point feel as though your body needs opioids in order for you to function throughout the day, or if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms 24 hours after last taking them, it may be time for professional hemp.
Because opioid addiction is so common, there are many treatment centers across the country that can give you personalized care and help you undergo a detox process as safely and comfortably as possible. While opioid addiction is difficult to overcome, it is possible, especially when licensed, experienced professionals are involved.
Bottom Line: Opioids Do Have a Purpose with Extreme Risks Involved
Ultimately, opioids like morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone serve a distinctive purpose in the medical community, helping make severe pain more manageable. But, at the same time, when exploring the world of painkillers, we all know too well how dangerous these drugs can be. Especially if taken over a prolonged period of time.
If you’re struggling with a dependency on opioids, we strongly recommend that you consider getting treatment to regain control over your life and your health. 4 Seasons Detox can provide professional, guided help with licensed opioid addiction experts in order to help you through your journey toward recovery.