Statistics on overdose deaths have been trending upward in recent years, but it is now estimated that over 100,000 people die of drug overdoses each year. It has reached a point now that some dentists no longer prescribe opioid pain medications after wisdom tooth removal, and the government is offering states 1.5 billion dollars to help fund their opioid response programs as they continue to deal with this crisis.
You might wonder how and why that number continues to rise, but opioid addiction is easier to slip into than you may think. If you or a loved one is struggling and seeking opioid addiction treatment in Fort Worth, please reach out to Fort Behavioral Health at 844.332.1807 today.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are most commonly used in medical settings and prescribed by doctors to manage pain, typically after major surgery or having your wisdom teeth removed. You may have taken opioids for pain management at some point in your life with no issue and without becoming dependent, but taking prescription pain medication is a slippery slope; it is very easy to become addicted. Some of the most commonly abused opioids are:
- Fentanyl, which can be found in heroin, is the primary source of overdose deaths in America
- Oxycodone, commonly known as Percocet or OxyContin
- Hydrocodone, commonly known as Vicodin
Due to the prevalence of these drugs in society, they can be as easy to find as they are to become addicted to. When someone who is addicted to opioids can’t find them, they may turn to using heroin. Heroin is also an opioid, though it is not a medication, and produces effects similar to the enjoyable ones from opioids, such as making one feel calm, relaxed, or euphoric.
Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Abuse
It can be extremely difficult to watch someone you love go through addiction. Sometimes, you could feel like it’s easier to ignore, enable, or downplay the severity of the situation. However, it’s vital to support your loved one through their active addiction if you wish to see them reach recovery. The most common signs of opioid addiction are:
- Taking prescribed medications longer and in larger doses than directed
- Needing frequent refills on medications or using multiple doctors to get refills
- Stealing money or medication
- New or worsening issues at home, school, or work
- Inability to control cravings and abuse even though they may want to
- Either euphoric or depressed and fatigued
- Sweating, itching, and small pupils
- Chronic constipation and nausea
- Nodding off or falling asleep frequently
- Shallow breathing
Knowing what to look for in active opioid addiction may help you prevent a future overdose. Intervention is vital due to exactly how dangerous opioid abuse can be. It can be hard to have to intervene in a loved one’s addiction, but there is help.
Recognizing the Signs of Opioid Overdose
The number of opioid overdose deaths per year has been steadily climbing, and as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent employment, inflation, financial, and societal problems that accompanied it raged on, it reached new, staggering heights. It is crucial to know what you are looking for when trying to determine if someone has overdosed on opioids. The signs of opioid overdose are:
- Shallow or labored breathing
- Confusion or lessened alertness
- Loss of consciousness or inability to wake up
- Unresponsiveness to stimuli such as touching, shaking, shouting
- Blue-looking skin due to poor circulation
- Respiratory or heart failure, often resulting in death
If you think a loved one is overdosing on opioids, call 911 immediately. If you know what they are taking, tell the medics. If you don’t, let the medics know you suspect opioids. The intervention process should begin the moment the individual is brought back to a stable condition.
Let Fort Behavioral Health Help You Overcome Your Opioid Addiction
At Fort Behavioral Health, you will find caring and knowledgeable professionals dedicated to your recovery from intake and detox all the way through to ensuring your continued sobriety in aftercare, therapy, and peer support.
Learn about the services and programs we offer by contacting us at 844.332.1807. We are here to help.