What are opioids?

Opioids are powerful drugs that create a sense of euphoria and general well-being. They fall into two broad categories:

Prescription pain medication: Opioids can effectively treat several medical conditions, such as chronic pain. It is possible to become addicted to them even through proper, supervised medical use. Examples include Percocet and morphine.
Illegal street drugs: “Street” opioids are produced in illegal laboratories that do not adhere to any heath and safety standards. They are often “diluted” with less expensive substances to make up the weight – many of these substances are poisonous. Since the exact composition of the drugs can vary widely, the effects can be unpredictable and difficult to treat. The most well-known example of a street opioid is heroin.

Opioid addiction is a growing problem for people of all ages. In recent years, Canada has seen an “opioid epidemic”. These drugs are particularly dangerous, because the user is often not sure exactly what he or she is taking. Accidental overdose can happen easily, and with fatal results.

What are the signs of opioid addiction?

How opioids affect you depends on many factors, including your age and body weight, whether you have any physical or mental health conditions, how much of the drugs you take and with what frequencies, and the composition of the drug itself. The signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include the following:

Lowered blood pressure, shortness of breath and gastrointestinal problems
Depression, anxiety and mood swings
Anxiety when you do not have access to the drug
Opioid intoxication, which manifests as dilated pupils and a tendency to take catnaps at seemingly random times
Gradual abdication of personal, professional and financial responsibilities
Frequent visits to the doctor, or visits to more than one doctor, in order to get prescriptions and refills
Episodes of irrational behaviour
Withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, insomnia and muscle aches between usages of the drug

What happens during opioid addiction treatment?

Because the withdrawal symptoms of opioids can be harmful, we recommend that people with opioid addictions undergo a period of medically supervised detox. This keeps you safe and as comfortable as possible while your body reacts to the drug working its way out of your system.

Once detox is complete, the next step is to go through a program of inpatient opioid addiction treatment that includes the following:

Individual counselling that allows you to explore the issues that lie beneath your addiction
Group counselling, providing you with a supportive environment among others who have been through similar things to you
Family counselling that helps you resolve and repair damaged relationships with loved ones
Physical activity and nutrition, so that you can rebuild and heal your body, which may have been physically damaged during the period of addiction
Group and community activities, that encourage teamwork and teach you the life skills that you will need to cope with the stresses of everyday life

Inspire Change Wellness Addiction Treatment Centre for Men is a premier facility offering opioid addiction treatment in Vancouver. Call us today to find out how to embark on your journey to a happier, more productive life.

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