The opioid epidemic has plagued the United States since the 1990s. However, it has not remained the same but has been marked by three distinctive waves. The first wave involved prescription opioids and related overdoses. In the second wave, beginning around 2010, we saw a dramatic increase in heroin use and overdoses. The third wave started in 2013 when increased overdoses were linked to synthetic opioids, fentanyl in particular.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we understand that the transition from prescription opioids to illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl is not something anyone plans. It often happens as a last resort when someone who has become unwittingly addicted to prescription opioids no longer has access to them. Call us today at 833.551.2304 to learn about our unique non-12-step approach to heroin addiction treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Painkiller Abuse
People addicted to painkillers are typically aware of the problem, especially if they get their drugs illegally. However, if you have been prescribed painkillers for an extended time, you might be genuinely unaware of having a dependency or addiction. Learning to recognize the physical, cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial signs and symptoms of painkiller addiction can alert you to the need for professional treatment.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
- Heavy perspiration
- Dilated pupils
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Decreased blood pressure
- Itchiness and skin irritation or sores
- Impaired coordination
Cognitive Signs and Symptoms
- Impaired decision-making skills
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms
- Doctor shopping or visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions for painkillers
- Borrowing or stealing medication prescribed to someone else
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Slurring speech
- Diminished participation in previously enjoyed activities
- Dishonesty regarding whereabouts or activities
Psychosocial Signs and Symptoms
- Reduced capacity to manage tasks of daily living
- Erratic or drastic mood swings
The Benefits of Treatment for Opioid Abuse or Addiction
Opioid abuse and addiction can have devastating impacts in all areas of life and change you into a person you no longer recognize. There is never a wrong time to seek treatment, but sooner is always better, especially considering the high risk of overdose.
Many people falsely believe that detoxing from opioids is the only step necessary to kick the habit. However, detox is just the first step toward recovery. The real work begins in opioid addiction treatment, without which the odds for relapse are monumental. The benefits of treatment for opioid abuse or addiction include:
- Breaking the cycle of addiction and chronic relapse
- Uncovering the issues that contribute to your addiction
- Developing new coping strategies
- Relapse prevention planning
- Learning how to establish healthy boundaries
- Repairing damaged relationships
- Trauma therapy
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we know that everyone’s path to opioid abuse and addiction is unique to their life experiences, as should be their path to recovery. Our knowledgeable and compassionate treatment team takes the time to get to know you, understand your goals, and create a treatment plan based on your unique needs.
The Impacts of Heroin and Fentanyl Abuse
Because of their potency, using heroin or fentanyl just once presents risks. Prolonged use profoundly impacts the central nervous system and makes your brain dependent upon them to produce natural chemicals that help you feel good. Opioids have a ripple effect on many of the body’s systems, and the impacts of using them include:
- Constipation, bloating, bowel obstructions, and hemorrhoids
- Stomach distension and ulcers
- Liver damage and liver disease
- Cardiovascular issues, heart attacks, and heart disease
- Collapsed veins and blood-borne infections
- Overdose and death
The impacts of opioid addiction are far-reaching and have devastating consequences. Relationships suffer, and families are torn apart. Many people lose everything they have. The risk for overdose is very high, especially when opioids are mixed with alcohol or other drugs, which they typically are.
Contact Gulf Breeze Recovery Today
If you are using heroin, fentanyl, or other opioids, you put your life at risk with every dose. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our opioid addiction treatment program offers high-quality care, low staff-to-client ratios, and an individualized approach to treatment using the most modern evidence-based and holistic therapies available. Contact us online or call 833.551.2304 to learn about our unique, non-12-step approach to opioid addiction treatment.