The Physical Effects of Opioid Abuse and How Rehab for Substance Abuse Can Help

Opioid abuse has been a persistent public health crisis for the last few years. The consequences of opioid misuse range from a negative impact on an individual’s physical health to social and psychological issues.

Understanding the ramifications of opioid abuse and how rehab can help goes a long way toward assisting those caught up in this addiction.

The Physical Effects of Opioid Abuse

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl as well as illegal drugs like heroin. When used appropriately, this group of drugs can provide pain relief by acting on the brain’s and body’s opioid receptors. However, their misuse can lead to harmful physical consequences including:

  • Respiratory depression – Opioids have a sedative effect on the central nervous system which can lead to dangerously shallow and slow breathing resulting in oxygen deprivation or even fatalities, in some instances.
  • Gastrointestinal problems – Persistent opioid abuse can impact the digestive system, leading to severe constipation. This may in turn lead to pain, discomfort, and even bowel obstruction in severe cases.
  • Nausea and vomiting – This side-effect of opioid abuse often occurs during the initial stages. Left unchecked, vomiting may contribute to nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Muscle spasms and rigidity – Continued opioid abuse can lead to muscle spasming or rigidity which in turn affects an individual’s movement and coordination.
  • Liver damage -Some opioids can lead to liver damage when taken in excessive amounts over a certain time.  
  • Tolerance and physical dependence – Opioid abuse can quickly lead to tolerance where the body gets used to a certain amount of the drugs, requiring increasing doses to attain a high. Over time, the individual may also develop physical dependence on their opioid of choice, requiring it to help keep up with the demands of their lives.

How Rehab for Opioid Abuse Can Help

Beating opioid addiction calls for professional help and a comprehensive approach to treatment. Rehab for substance abuse offers different therapeutic interventions designed to address both the physical and psychological aspects of opioid addiction. These interventions include:

  • Detox – This weans the body off the harmful toxins left behind by opioids and prepares the individual for rehab.
  • Counseling therapy – Whether individual or group therapy, the goal is to help the individual address personal and psychological challenges to get to the root cause of the addiction.
  • Behavioral therapy – The goal of behavioral therapy is to identify negative thought and behavior patterns and to replace them with more positive, healthier ones.
  • Relapse prevention – This includes trigger identification and learning the coping skills and strategies required to avoid or mitigate them.
  • Life skills training – Learning essential life skills will enable the individual to rebuild a productive life once they’re done with rehab.

At the Findlay Recovery Center, we believe that addiction treatment services should be affordable for all who need them. That’s why we offer same-day admissions and individualized treatment for our residential drug and alcohol addiction programs. Contact us today if you’re ready to take the first steps towards lasting recovery.

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