Opioids are a class of drugs that are naturally found in the opium poppy plants. There are many different names used for opioids such as O.C, oxy, percs, vike, M, monkey, white stuff, lean, schoolboy, sizzurp, purple drank or loads, etc.
Opioids are often used as prescription drugs. People consider them safe as they are prescribed by doctors, but there are some important facts to consider when many individuals find themselves at an opioid detox center.
Facts about Opioids for Teens and Parents
- Opioids and Brain: Opioids contain the illegal drug “Heroin” in them. Synthetic opioids have fentanyl, and painkiller opioids prescribed by doctors have oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and several other such substances. They can alter the working of both spinal cord and brain to reduce the intensity of pain signals as well as other areas of the brain that control emotions. They also cause the brain to experience euphoria or in simple terms can make you feel “high.”
- Opioids and Body: Opioids can slow down your body such as your heartbeat or breathing. Even a single dose of opioids can lead to respiratory depression which is a fatal slow down of your breathing. Taking opioids with sedatives or alcohol can increase the risk of fatalities.
- Opioids and Addiction: Opioid is highly addictive and you can even get addicted to prescribed medication such as pain relievers. People that used heroin in the past report being addicted to prescription opioids.
- Opioids can Kill you: Between March 2017 and March 2018, around 68,690 people died due to drug overdose. In these cases, more than 46,000 deaths were due to opioids.
The good news is that opioid addiction is treatable. Many FDA approved medications such as Methadone and naltrexone can help treat an opioid disorder.
Some common questions and confusion
Q: If my doctor prescribes me opioids, doesn’t that mean that they are safe?
A: Although they are safe for the short term, if you use them for longer periods or incorrectly, they can make your brain become reliant on them and become addictive.
Q: If I use opioids, will I become addicted?
A: Is misused, prescription opioids can cause physical dependence. Illegal opioids such as Heroin are also extremely addictive. If you use opioids regularly, you develop a tolerance for normal amounts. This means you will crave more quantities of the drug to feel the desired effects.
How to know if someone is using Opioids?
Common side effects of opioid misuse include:
- Decreased breathing
- Itching or sweating
- Nausea and dry mouth
- Sleepiness and dizziness
Behavioral changes due to opium addiction include:
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Change in gathering or peer group
- A decline in academic performance
- Missing classes or skipping school
- Worsening relationships with friends and family
- Carelessness with grooming and appearance
Before you think about using opioids, consider these.
- Know the law: Heroin is highly addictive and illegal. You can be imprisoned, fined or given both penalties if you are caught with prescription opioids that don’t belong to you.
- Know the risks: Addiction and death due to overdose can occur with opioids. The more you consume them, the more tolerance you build and thus the more you crave.
Even if opioids are prescribed for medical reasons, they can still be addictive and dangerous. Misuse of medications such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone can result in extremely harmful ways. If you find yourself in a condition where you are linked with opioids, you should consult a doctor, counselor, or guardian before you suffer serious consequences of opioids misuse.