How Does Opioid Addiction Even Start In Teens
When we look back on the opioid epidemic, there was point when we asked ourselves, How did we get here? Before we knew it, approximately 53,000 people overdosed from opioids in 2016 causing us to scrambled to protect our loved ones. Teenagers make up around 4200 of the opioid overdoses that occurred in 2016 and over 500,000 hospital visits due to opioid misuse causing over 90,000 teens to attend rehab. We were astonished by these statistics which made us jump up and do something different, but we had to establish why addiction opioid even started with teens in the first place to get to the crux of the problem.
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How Do I Know If My Medicine Is An Opioid
If you have been prescribed a pain relief medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is an opioid. This is important, since prescription opioids can cause serious side effects even when used exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Opioids used to treat pain include:
Opioid Abuse Among Demographics
Males consistently abuse opioids more than females except among 12- to 17-year-olds.
- Adult usage is most prevalent among people of two or more races and American Indian or Alaska Native people .
- Annual usage grew between 2018 and 2019 among Asians , people of two or more races , and Hispanic or Latino people
- People with some college or an associateâs degree are most likely to use opioids, with 4.2% using in 2019.
- Also in 2019, opioid use increased among college graduates and those who did not complete high school 8.1%.
- 7% of unemployed adults misused opioids in 2019, down from 8.8% in 2018.
- 3.6% of part-time employees misused opioids in 2019, down from 4.2% in 2018.
- Opioid abuse increased among full-time employees, to 3.9% up from 3.8%..
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What You Need To Know
- Opioid addiction is a serious medical condition.
- Though the cause of OUD is not known, people may take opioids in an unhealthy way to achieve euphoria or to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder include craving, risky use and withdrawal symptoms if the opioid is discontinued. If not treated, opioid use disorder can lead to overdose and death.
- Treatment, including drugs that can ease craving and help people discontinue opioid use, can help manage opioid use disorder.
Does Va Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment
If you or a loved one is a veteran living with a substance use disorder, help is available through VA insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act , all insurance plans, including VA insurance, must cover some or all of the cost of mental health
treatmentOpioid treatmenttreatmentAddiction Treatment
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How Do People Become Addicted To Opioids
When taken as prescribed, opioids simply provide pain relief and rarely result in addiction. Science has provided new insights regarding the effects of opioids and how dependence develops. Experts know for a fact that some people experience a euphoric response to these drugs, which can sometimes lead to abuse. For example, the illegal drug heroin is an opioid processed from morphine and is highly addictive due to its euphoric effects, often called a rush. Legally prescribed opioids can also be abused for the same effects.
Its not only taking too much of a drug that can cause physical dependence or addiction, but also changing the method in which the drug is taken. For example, some medications intended for oral use may be snorted or injected to intensify the euphoric feelings the drugs create. Misusing opioids in any way can lead to overdose and other serious complications, including death.
Addiction isnt the same as physical dependence. Someone who has become physically dependent on a medication will experience withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped. These people might also develop a higher tolerance for the medication, resulting in the need for increased dosage to control their symptoms. On the other hand, someone who is addicted to a drug will be compulsive about using the medication, without regard to the medical risks.
Concomitant Use Of Other Medications Or Other Agents
Unless advised by your health care provider, certain medications should be avoided when taking opioids due to increased risk of severe drowsiness, decreased awareness, breathing problems, coma, or death. These medications include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Other central nervous system depressants
Opioids may interact with other medications that may increase your risk of overdose, arrhythmias, or seizures. It is best to check with your healthcare provider and pharmacist and read information from the Food and Drug Administration before taking other medications in conjunction with opioids.
If you have been taking opioids and feel you need help, talk to your doctor. OWCP stands ready to assist its injured federal workers with coordination and authorization of any necessary treatment to reduce the harms and risks of opioids. You may also wish to visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for additional information regarding treatment, or contact SAMHSAs National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
Need Help? If you or someone you know needs help dealing with opioid abuse please visit FindTreatment.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP
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How Do Opioids Work
Opioids are unique in how they bind to certain receptors in the brain and body-these are the opioid receptors. We have opioid receptors throughout our brain and spinal cord, as well as our gut.
When someone first takes opioids, it slows down the processes of the central nervous system. This is why general side effects can include drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.
Unfortunately, this slowdown of the central nervous system is also what can lead to an overdose. When someone takes a higher dose of opioids than what their brain and body can handle, their central nervous system becomes overwhelmed. That person may then stop breathing, or their breathing may slow to a dangerously low level, which is an opioid overdose.
Using opioids with other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines can further increase the risk of an overdose.
That overdose risk is why opioids claim tens of thousands of lives each year.
Some people may experience feelings of euphoria or a pleasant sense of well-being when they’re on opioids as well. This can be known as high. This happens because the brain releases feel-good chemicals called neurotransmitters in response to the presence of opioids. Those feel-good chemicals are a big part of why opioids are addictive.
How Can Parents And Guardians Of Students Help
- Educated and empowered parents and guardians are the first line of defense in preventing opioid misuse and illicit drug use by students.
- The Department of Education partnered with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration to release a new version of the popular publication, Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Substance Use Prevention. The Guide includes an overview of substance use among children, youth, and young adults, and includes suggestions for how to talk to young people about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, tailored to their age group, along with tips on what to do if you suspect your child is using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. The Guide is also available in Spanish.
- Get Smart about Drugs is a DEA resource for parents, educators and caregivers.
- Find useful information about substance abuse prevention at youth.gov.
- The HHS Office of Adolescent Health’s call to action, Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® provides educators and other professionals, parents, and adolescents with resources and ideas to support and improve teen health.
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What Effect Do Opiates Have On The Body
Opiates can be found in several widely-used drugs including: heroin, morphine, codeine and hydrocodone. Opiates create artificial endorphins in the brain -which produce in the early stages of use warm, good feelings in the user. But over time, opiates trick the brain into stopping the production of these endorphins naturally. At this point, the only way an opiate addict can experience positive feelings is by using the drug in question. This process is the reason why opiates are so addictive.
When the body stops producing its own endorphins, a person feels sick and depressed whenever they are not taking the opiate. For these individuals, taking the opiate, say heroin, no longer is about the positive feelings that were felt the first few times they took the drug. Now, the opiate use has become about avoided negative feeling and symptoms. When this switch occurs the person has become addicted to opiates.
Why Are Opioids Dangerous
It may be hard for some people to stop using opioids because along with relieving pain, they release chemicals in the brain that can make you feel calm and intensely happy . Drug addiction is a brain condition that makes you use drugs, even if theyre harmful to you. Addiction affects your self-control and your ability to stop taking a drug. Most people who take prescription opioids can stop using them without getting addicted to them. But using them regularly can make you dependent on them, even if you use them as directed by your provider.
At a preconception checkup before pregnancy or at your first prenatal care checkup, your provider asks you questions about your health. Tell your provider about any health conditions you have and any medicines you take. This includes prescription medicine, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products and supplements. If you take medicine to treat a medical condition, you may need to switch to medicine thats safer for your baby. Or your provider may recommend different kinds of treatment that dont use medicine. And if you need help to quit using addictive drugs, your provider can help you find a treatment program.
When you take any prescription medicine:
- Dont take more than your provider says you can take.
- Dont take it with alcohol or other drugs.
- Dont use someone elses prescription drugs.
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How Do Prescription Opioids Affect The Brain
Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs in the body, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. This release can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience.
What Is Opioid Addiction
Can opioids cause addiction? Yes, opioid use may lead to dependence and addiction. However, its important to understand why and whats meant by addiction.
You may hear the phrases opioid addiction and opioid use disorder used to mean the same thing. However, opioid addiction is an older term no longer officially used to define opioid use disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition is the tool used by health professionals to diagnose mental health conditions.
In 2013, the DSM-5 officially changed the terms opioid addiction and substance abuse to opioid use disorder.
The DSM-5 defines opioid use disorder as a pattern of opioid use that leads to problems or distress.
To make a diagnosis of opioid use disorder, at least two of the following symptoms must occur within a 12-month period:
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Whats Known About Opioids And Overdose
An overdose happens when too much of a drug is taken and harms your body. When too many opioids are taken, your breathing can slow and stop. Opioid overdoses can be nonfatal or they can result in death. People who have opioid use disorder are more likely to experience an overdose.
If you take opioids exactly as prescribed by your provider, its very unlikely that youll experience an opioid overdose.
An opioid overdose can happen for a variety of reasons, including if you:
- Take an opioid to get high.
- Take an extra dose of a prescription opioid or take it too often .
- Mix an opioid with other medications, illegal drugs or alcohol. An overdose can be fatal when mixing an opioid and benzodiazepines medications prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia. Common benzodiazepines include diazepam , alprazolam and clonazepam .
- Take an opioid medication that was prescribed for someone else. Children are especially at risk of an accidental overdose if they take medication not intended for them.
Immediate action is needed to help someone experiencing an opioid overdose. Naloxone is a drug that treats the overdose immediately. Naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if its given to the person quickly. Medical attention is still urgently needed after naloxone is administered.
Opiate Addiction Causes Depression
When the body stops producing its own endorphins, a person feels sick and depressed whenever they are not taking their opiate of choice. At this point, taking the opiate is no longer about experiencing positive feelings as it is to avoid negative feelings and symptoms. When this occurs, the person has become addicted to opiates.
There are various types of opiates, prescription, and nonprescription, for mild to severe pain relief. Opiates are meant for short-term pain relief and use only. If taken longer than a few days, your chance of becoming dependent or developing an addiction increases tremendously. Heroin, which is a street drug, is also considered an opiate. Due to the regulations on controlled substances, especially opiates, in the United States, heroin abuse and overdoses have risen substantially. Here is a list of some of the common prescription opiates available:
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Does Everyone Who Is Prescribed An Opioid Become Addicted
No, not everyone taking a prescription opioid becomes addicted to them. When prescription instructions are carefully followed, the chances of becoming addicted are decreased.
Opioids are useful for treating acute pain through short-term use. However, when a prescription drug is used outside of the instructions or for chronic pain, the risk of developing opioid use disorder increases.
What Happens When Someone Is Addicted
Someone addicted to opioids will want to get more when the prescription runs out. This can lead to inappropriate or risky behavior, such as lying to a health care provider to get a new prescription, buying opioids from a friend, stealing opioids from friends or family, or buying and using street drugs .
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What Are The Stages Of Opioid Addiction
When opioids enter the body, they interact with nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, the digestive tract, and elsewhere. In the brain, they activate the reward center and trigger the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain and create feelings of pleasure.
People use a number of terms to describe problems with opioids, including addiction, dependence, tolerance, abuse, and use disorders. Understanding the differences may help you or a loved one get help and avoid life-threatening health problems or risk of overdose.
Tolerance. Over time, repeated opioid use can change your brain chemistry. Your brain adjusts to the dose you take and gets used to functioning on opioids. That is, your brain now tolerates the drug. Your body will slow the flow of endorphins it releases in response to that dose. To keep feeling good, youâll need to take larger doses to get the same intensity of pain relief and pleasure.
Dependence. If youâre regularly using opioids, your body will eventually adjust and depend on the drugs in order to function properly. Though everyone is different, your odds of becoming dependent go up the longer you take opioids.
The trouble starts when you try to stop or reduce your regular use of opioids. It can bring on a set of unpleasant physical and mental symptoms called âwithdrawal.â
These symptoms can include:
Other risk factors for developing an opioid addiction can include:
Why Are Opioid Painkillers Used
Doctors prescribe opioids to manage many levels of pain. Codeine, for example, is used to treat mild to moderate pain, and is usually prescribed only after over-the-counter pain relievers have not been effective. Morphine, on the other hand, is used to relieve severe pain, such as after surgery. These medicines reduce a persons perception of pain, but they also have side effects, such as drowsiness, nausea and constipation.
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Why Are Opioids So Addictive
Opioids work by blocking out pain and making you feel calm and happy, which can lead to a huge potential for abuse and addiction . The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 10 million Americans misuse opioid painkillers each year.
âHuman nature is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain,â addiction counselor Lin Sternlicht, LMHC, MA, EdM, tells WebMD Connect to Care. â Opioids are highly effective at doing so on a psychological and physiological basis.â The power of these addictive drugs lies in their ability to disrupt essential neurochemical systems in our bodies.