Many people have addictions of various sorts. Some are addicted to gambling or pornography, while others might be hooked on shopping or spending excessive amounts of time playing video games. Another type of addiction involves substance use. Numerous substances, from legal ones like alcohol and tobacco to illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and amphetamine, can lead to habitual use.
Opioids are another substance that can cause addiction. In this article, we’ll discuss what opioids are, the signs that you or someone you know might be addicted to them, and how individuals who have become addicted can break free from using these drugs.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids, also known as narcotics, originate from or mimic natural substances found in the opium poppy plant. Morphine, codeine, heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydrocodone are examples of drugs classified as opioids.
Doctors prescribe opioids to treat severe and chronic pain. These drugs activate the opioid receptors in the brain and the body’s nerve cells, which helps block pain signals between the body and the brain. Opioids are prescribed to individuals with persistent backaches and headaches, as well as adults and children who have experienced pain from sports injuries, severe accidents, or surgery. They can also benefit those suffering from cancer-related pain.
However, even short-term opioid use can lead to addiction. An individual’s history and duration of use are significant factors in determining the likelihood of addiction. Still, it’s difficult to predict who will become dependent on these drugs.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s crucial to seek help before the situation worsens. You can reach out to facilities like Jackson House Addiction and Recovery Center or other rehab services to begin the recovery process.
Signs Of Opioid Addiction
Various signs can indicate whether someone is addicted to opioids. Those who have taken these substances without a prescription are more likely to exhibit these signs. Recognizing opioid addiction is a critical step toward recovery. Here are some signs of opioid addiction to watch out for:
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities
- Becoming irritable or anxious
- Sleeping at unusual hours
- Eating more or less than usual
- Experiencing rapid mood changes
- Facing financial difficulties
- Missing important appointments
- Having legal troubles
- Appearing consistently sad and tired
- Choosing to become socially isolated
Identifying these signs early is crucial to prevent further complications that may worsen if left unaddressed.
How To Break Free From Opioid Addiction
Now that you’ve learned about opioids and the signs of addiction, you can continue reading to discover how to break free from them. Applying these steps can significantly help people with addiction return to their everyday life before using such substances.
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercise has been proven effective in benefiting one’s health. From biking and running to going to the gym, many options contribute to overall wellness. This is why many people prefer to engage in physical activity.
Similarly, exercise can also help reduce opioid dependence for several reasons, two of which are:
- It Reduces Drug Cravings
Exercise promotes blood flow to the heart, improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to your body’s muscles. As a result, your body becomes stronger and more capable of releasing energy throughout the day. When you’re more energetic, you can accomplish more tasks and likely increase your capacity to resist drug cravings.
- It Reduces Stress
Exercise reduces stress for several reasons. First, it increases the number of endorphins in the brain, which are feel-good neurotransmitters that contribute to a sense of euphoria or well-being. Additionally, exercise distracts you from worries by requiring focus on your bodily movements. This benefit can help those looking to avoid the stress of stopping opioid misuse.
2. Find A Support Group
One of the best ways to break free from opioid addiction is to find supportive individuals who will accompany you on your recovery journey. This prevents you or someone close to you from battling substance abuse alone and builds confidence, knowing there are people you can contact and connect with.
Having supportive people at your side also increases motivation and accountability. When trying to stop opioid misuse in isolation, it’s easy to revert to unhealthy behaviors. However, when someone encourages you and holds you accountable for your actions, you gain more power to manage your opioid cravings and abuse.
Another reason a support system is essential for overcoming opioid addiction is that it offers a healthy environment and lifestyle. You can benefit from jogging and walking with these people and enjoy activities that differ from those associated with opioid use.
3. Consider Professional Help
In addition to having a group of supportive people, seeking professional assistance is crucial for overcoming opioid misuse. Various therapy types aim to help with this issue, some of which include:
- Family counseling
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- Rational emotive behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- 12-step facilitation therapy
Ultimately, these therapies offer different ways to help someone with an addiction. What’s important is choosing the one most suitable for your needs and committing to the therapeutic process.
Factors such as personal preferences, the severity of the addiction, and co-occurring mental health disorders play a significant role in determining the most effective approach. A professional assessment by a qualified therapist or counselor can aid in identifying the most appropriate therapy type.
The right therapy can be life-changing, providing valuable tools to cope with triggers, emotions, and thoughts related to opioid misuse. Professionals specializing in addiction can customize treatment plans, offering a tailored approach that addresses underlying issues, such as mental health concerns or past traumas.
Opioid addiction is a challenge that some people face. This addiction can make life more difficult, as it’s easy to lose interest in activities and experience financial distress. It can also lead to legal trouble.
For the reasons mentioned above, it’s a great step for someone addicted to opioids to learn how to overcome their addiction. This article has discussed some of the ways to achieve this goal. In the end, becoming free from opioid dependence can benefit both the person using the substance and those close to them.