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Understanding Opioid Use Disorder

a group of three people talk about opioid use disorder

Opioids are primarily used in anesthesia or prescribed for pain relief. But these chemical substances are often consumed recreationally to produce euphoric effects. Either way, regular consumption of opioids leads to dependence and addiction, culminating in an opioid use disorder (OUD). Spotting the early signs of OUD and seeking timely treatment can save a life. If you or a loved one shows symptoms of an opioid use disorder, contact Attain Behavioral Health for personalized opioid addiction treatment.

Since opioids stimulate specific reward pathways in the brain, developing a tolerance and chemical dependence on the drug is significantly easier. As a result, the body craves more and more of the substance to function normally, leading to an opioid use disorder. To know more about the signs of opioid use disorder and our treatment options, call us at 888.442.2323.

Understanding Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Opioids may be naturally occurring (opiates), such as morphine, heroin, or codeine, or chemically synthesized for medical purposes, such as oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and the like. Both have great potential for misuse.

What Is an OUD?

An opioid use disorder alters one’s brain chemistry. As a result, one develops a physical dependence on the drug and experiences painful withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop.
Thus, the individual gets trapped in a toxic self-destructive cycle where they are unable to quit while their physical health and mental well-being gradually worsen.

Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder

The common physical and psychological signs of OUD are as follows:

  • Drowsiness and lethargy
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood swings
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired cognition

The signs of OUD can also be behavioral, such as:

  • The person may lose interest in daily activities and hobbies, constantly waiting for their next “fix.”
  • They often have fake or multiple copies of the prescription in their room, along with other drug paraphernalia such as pill bottles, powders, syringes, etc.
  • If the opioid is part of their prescription medication, they may take higher quantities of it without consulting the doctor or turn to street drugs.
  • They may lie about where they’ve been or even steal money to pay for the drugs.
  • Such individuals often struggle with fulfilling real-life obligations; as a result, they may have estranged relations with loved ones.
  • They may lose their jobs, drop out of educational programs and face bankruptcy.
  • Sometimes, they may have already tried quitting on their own and failed.

Thus, opioid use disorder is a serious concern. Nevertheless, with medical attention, therapeutic support, and professional care (all available at a quality treatment center), it is possible to reverse the damage and make a long-lasting recovery.

If someone you know is showing signs of an opioid use disorder, encourage them to seek professional help or contact their local healthcare provider at the earliest. However, if you suspect someone has overdosed on an opioid, that person requires immediate hospitalization and medical care.

Find Help and Healing for Opioid Use Disorder at Attain Behavioral Health

At Attain Behavioral Health, we firmly believe that with the proper support and compassionate care, anyone can make a full recovery from addiction. With a strong background in senior living and skilled nursing care, our world-class team can help you get back on your feet.

We offer a variety of programs and services, from intensive outpatient treatment to partial hospitalization. Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure for addiction, our programs can be further customized based on one’s unique needs, recovery goals, and budget.
It is always possible to seek help and make a fresh start. Change your life today by calling us at 888.442.2323.