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Why is Prescription Opioid Abuse So Common?

prescription opioid abuse

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Prescription opioid abuse continues to be a major healthcare issue in the United States. The CDC reports that 106,699 people in the United States died of opioid overdoses in 2021. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that nearly 30% of people prescribed prescription opioids end up abusing these medications. Prescription opioid addiction destroys the lives of users and their families and is life-threatening. If you or a loved one is struggling with prescribed opioids, it is critical that you find professional help.

This article will give you more information on prescription opioids and why opioid prescription abuse is so common. Most importantly, you will learn where to find comprehensive opioid addiction treatment best suited to your needs. Prescription opioid abuse is a serious matter, and Thrive Treatment can help. Our top-tier treatment center provides the tools and supports you need to overcome prescription opioid addiction for good.

What Are Prescription Opioids?

Prescription opioids are synthetically derived painkiller medications created in a laboratory. Opioids are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain associated with surgery and diseases such as cancer. Recently, doctors have been prescribing opioid medications to treat conditions such as back pain and arthritis. As part of a comprehensive pain management program, prescription opioids are an effective tool in helping people manage their pain.

While opioids are effective medications, they also have a high addiction potential. Prescription painkillers are extremely powerful, and the dangers of prescription opioid misuse are great—even if they are used correctly by patients. If the signs of opioid abuse are not seen in the early stages, people can easily spiral out of control with misuse, abuse, and addiction. If some cases, misusing opioids can be a matter of life and death.

Why is Prescription Opioid Abuse So Common?

Prescription opioid abuse is common because they are highly potent medication. When taken, opioids act on the pleasure centers of the brain and flood these areas with endorphins. Endorphins are the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical, muting pain perception while creating powerful feelings of euphoria. These euphoric feelings are intense, and people feel a strong sense of well-being.

Once the effects of opioids wear off, users will want to take more opioids to recreate those strong pleasurable feelings. As people continue to use these medications, the brain decreases its production of endorphins. As a result, people will need to take higher dosages to feel the euphoria they desire. Eventually, opioids completely take over endorphin production, and people will need to take these medications to function daily.

This progression can happen simply because people take opioids longer than intended. Also, people who feel the pleasurable effects of opioids may start to steal others’ prescriptions or go to multiple doctors to get more medications. Additionally, opioid abuse is common because people will go back to these medications as a “failsafe” even if they aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort.

Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse?

In many cases, people addicted to opioids go to great lengths to conceal their use. While those addicted to these medications also operate under heavy denial regarding their opioid abuse problem. However, there are telltale signs of prescription opioid abuse, such as the following:

  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Poor decision making
  • Increased anxiety attacks
  • Depressive episodes
  • Abandoning work, school, and family responsibilities
  • Shallow breathing and lowered respiration
  • Physical agitation

How to Find Comprehensive Residential Treatment for Prescription Opioid Abuse

Prescription opioid abuse can have damaging consequences for the user’s physical and mental health. To break the cycle of addiction, you must seek specialized help found at an opioid abuse treatment center. These rehabs feature evidence-based programs that are time-tested, proven effective, and administered by experienced addiction treatment staff. Most importantly, these programs are customized to fit your unique and specific needs.

Thrive Treatment is one of the premier Los Angeles drug rehab centers that can help. Our Santa Monica addiction treatment services address substance abuse and the underlying issues that led to abuse in the first place. We offer a wide variety of treatment programs that services that give you the tools you need to transform your life. Don’t wait another day to address your opioid addiction; call Thrive Treatment today to learn more about our outpatient rehab in Los Angeles.

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