Opioids are a class of drugs that are often prescribed to treat severe pain. They act on opioid receptors in both the spinal cord and brain to reduce the intensity of pain signal perception.
Opioids can also affect brain areas that control emotion, further diminishing the effects of painful stimuli, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Unfortunately, opioids are often illegally obtained and misused, which can lead to opioid addiction.
Opioid use disorder, the clinical term for opioid addiction, impairs a person’s ability to stop using opioids and shifts their focus to obtaining opioids. Attempts to stop using opioids without professional intervention often result in painful withdrawal symptoms.
Opioid addiction is treatable. By receiving treatment at a professional opioid addiction treatment place like Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital, you can put an end to the physical and psychological tolls this condition has caused and lead a healthier, happier life.
Doctors might prescribe an opioid to help you manage pain after a surgical procedure or to address chronic pain that is related to an illness or other health condition.
It’s critically important to only take opioids as instructed, paying strict attention to the dosage necessary and not taking them for longer than you need to.
A person who is struggling with opioid addiction may display some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Frequent dry mouth
- Sudden weight loss
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained financial concerns
- Constipation or stomach cramping
- Difficulty staying awake
- Stealing from family or friends
- Lowered sex drive
The United States continues to experience a drug overdose epidemic, and opioids are largely the cause of this. More than 750,000 people have died of a drug overdose in America since 1999. Two out of every three overdose deaths in 2018 involved opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here are some additional statistics about the opioid addiction epidemic:
- Nearly 47,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2018, according to the CDC. A third of those deaths involved prescription opioids.
- Opioid overdose deaths have increased by almost six times since 1999.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 21%-29% of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8% and 12% of those patients develop opioid use disorder.
The effects of opioid addiction can vary depending on how long you’ve been misusing opioids, if you’ve had any previous treatment for opioid addiction and whether any additional conditions may be affecting you.
Generally speaking, the following are some examples of the effects of untreated opioid addiction:
- Damaged relationships with friends and family
- Chronic unemployment
- Financial difficulties
- Arrest or incarceration
- Infections, including HIV or hepatitis C
- Suicidal ideation
- Accidents or injuries related to buying or selling drugs
- Accidental overdose
Without a proper opioid addiction treatment plan, some of these ramifications can be life-threatening. Though these outcomes are not guaranteed, you can increase your chances of avoiding these complications by pursuing professional care at a treatment place like Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital.
Because there are many different opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, those who struggle with opioid use disorder can have an extremely wide variety of experiences related to addiction.
At a professional opioid addiction treatment place, you’ll benefit from working with esteemed clinicians who understand the havoc opioid addiction can cause for the individual who is suffering and their support system. You’ll also get a chance to realize that you’re not alone in this recovery journey, meeting other patients who have experienced similar struggles.
Pursuing opioid addiction treatment can mend family bonds, heal your mind and body, and help shift your focus toward the better days ahead. By finding an opioid addiction treatment place that has your best interests in mind, you can emerge with the perspective that your life is well worth living.
You deserve treatment that reflects your specific experiences. That’s why it’s important to find an opioid addiction treatment place that considers your unique needs and takes into account your strengths and goals in formulating a personalized treatment plan.
Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital offers individualized inpatient treatment for adults age 18 and older who are struggling with opioid addiction. Our staff of experienced clinicians delivers acute care that helps patients who are in crisis achieve stability and begin to function at a higher level.
While you’re at our treatment place in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll benefit from a personalized treatment plan that places your needs and interests first. You’ll also have access to 24-hour nursing care in an atmosphere that will allow you to completely focus on your health and a life free from the grip of addiction.
When you arrive at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital, you’ll participate in a comprehensive assessment that will allow us to create your unique opioid addiction treatment plan. We’ll consider your goals during treatment, any previous treatment you’ve had and your medical history.
Depending on the nature and severity of your struggles with opioid addiction, your treatment plan might include:
- Medication management
- Individual therapy
- Family sessions
- Experiential therapy
- Group therapy
You’ll participate in programming that features evidence-based treatment modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that are designed to promote the most positive outcomes.
At the conclusion of treatment, you’ll receive a detailed discharge plan that will help you build on the progress you made with us and thrive in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital.