The Side Effects of Opioids
Opioid Side Effects are No Laughing Matter. Your Long-term Health is at Risk.
Opioids are becoming the number one drug for addiction in America. As physicians are increasingly prescribing them to treat diverse pain in patients, this highly addicting pain reliever can leave many desperately craving more, even after treatment is no longer necessary. No matter if it’s you or someone you care about taking opiate drugs, it’s important to know the side effects and signs of abuse to prevent addiction and overdose.
Common Opioids and What They Really Are
Opiates are a drug class made from the opium poppy plant. The different types of drugs made from the plant are used because of their ability to act on the central nervous system to relax the body and relieve pain. While there are many types of drugs made from the opium poppy plant, physicians tend to prescribe certain ones in more frequency according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These common prescription opioids include:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®) Oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
Opioid Side Effects Are More Than a Feeling of Euphoria
Opioids are powerful drugs. They cause serious side effects and can deteriorate the abuser’s health immediately and over time. Some short-term opioid side effects include vomiting, nausea, drowsiness, confusion, constipation, and slow breathing. In addition, opioids can cause even cause severe, long-term side effects that harm the user’s overall health.
Long-term opioid side effects include:
- Risk of Liver and Kidney Disease
- Infection of Heart Lining
- Heart Problems
- Hormonal Dysfunction
- Muscle Stiffness
- Changes in Brain Chemistry
Signs of Opioid Addiction
If someone has been prescribed opioids by a physician as a pain reliever, you need to be on the lookout for signs of opioid addiction since it is extremely easy to become hooked. There are a few common signs of addiction you may notice including a failure to complete normal activities or a decreased interest in normal activities (school, work, hobbies, etc.). You may also notice a decrease in social activities, an increased amount of empty pill bottles in the trash, and dramatic mood changes.
People who are addicted to opioids will also “shop for doctors,” meaning that when their original doctor takes them off the medication, they will try to find others who will prescribe opioids again or will try to find multiple doctors for prescriptions at the same time. You may also notice dilated pupils, drowsiness, or increase in sickness due to the immune system being weakened.
How to Prevent Opioid Addiction
One of the easiest ways to prevent opioid addiction is to use it only as directed by a physician. Do not allow continued use and monitor the prescribed patient for signs of addiction. In addition to using them as directed, be sure to communicate with the patient the risks and side effects associated with opioids. Talk to a doctor if you are concerned with your or someone else’s opioid use.
For more information on opioid side effects, use, and addiction, call Primo Prevention today. With our numerous products focusing specifically on opioid addiction, you can educate yourself and others on the dangers of opioids with ease and accurate facts. Make a difference in preventing opioid addiction by calling Primo Prevention.
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