While addiction to opioids and the threat of overdose are a challenge to combat, opioid recovery is not impossible. Here in Worcester county, there are many resources available for those who struggle with opioid use. Learn more about the opioid crisis in the United States and how you can find help here in Massachusetts by calling Washburn House at 855.298.3104. Our opioid addiction treatment center can provide you with the care and support you need to begin your recovery journey.
The Opioid Crisis
Opioids represent one of the most deadly drugs in the United States. Each year in the U.S., more than half of all deaths related to drugs involve opioids. A continued problem is that doctors prescribe opioids in high numbers, and since they are incredibly addictive, even those who use them as prescribed can become addicted. Once the prescription ends, some people turn to cheaper alternatives like heroin.
The opioid crisis has not spared Massachusetts. Almost all drug overdose deaths in the state are related to opioids. The last 10 years have shown a sharp increase in opioid-related deaths. And the problem will likely continue, as opioids are prescribed to about 35% of our fellow residents.
Opioids present a significant danger due to their risk of overdose. Their effects are not as intense with continued use, leading users to ingest more of the drug to achieve the same high they’re after. This upped dosage, along with the use of other dangerous drugs like heroin and fentanyl, causes the high rates of overdoses we see throughout the country.
How Opioids Work
Opioids work by triggering the release of endorphins in your brain. These are the chemicals the brain produces to deal with stress or pain by providing the opposite sensation: pleasure.
Opioids cause these chemicals to release in larger quantities, making you feel extra good. The problem comes when the effects of the drug wear off. People often try to replicate that feeling, and the only way to feel that good again is to use more; this is how addiction starts.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Knowing the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction is key to being able to recognize when someone needs help. Some warning signs and symptoms of opioid addiction include:
- Uncontrollable cravings to use opioids
- Inability to stop abuse on their own, even if they may want to
- Sweating, shaking
- Euphoric “high” feeling
- Depression, anger, or withdrawal symptoms when they cannot obtain opioids
- Chronic constipation
- Small pupils
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
Getting help for a person struggling with opioid addiction is vital. Long-term opioid abuse can result in destroyed relationships, legal or financial problems, health problems, and potentially death.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Help
Yes, opioids are addictive. Yes, they can be dangerous. But it is never too late to stop. Depending on your addiction’s intensity, there are medications available that can help wean you off opioids in a safe manner as a part of a medically assisted detox and opioid recovery program.
This type of medication-assisted treatment, including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, along with behavioral therapy (both individual and group counseling), is shown to be the most effective way to overcome opioid addiction.
You Are Not Alone
When living with addiction, it is common to feel completely alone. It’s easy to feel like no one else understands your problem and think that others will judge you if you share your story. However, seeking help from those around you can be incredibly helpful.
Everyone has one or more people in their lives that can help. Family, friends, or medical professionals are indispensable sources of support. If you need help, that is the place to start. Share your struggle, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It’s Important to Seek Help
Though sometimes it might be challenging to find help, resources are available for you. There are support groups, recovery coaches, and treatment centers near you.
Treatment works. Opioid recovery is possible. Studies show that people addicted to opioids who complete treatment programs have a much higher possibility of reaching full recovery, especially if the treatment spans at least 30 days. Treatment centers provide aftercare plans that help set you up for success in the months to come and give you the skills you’ll need to maintain a sober life.
There Is Hope For Opioid Recovery at Washburn House
At Washburn House, we offer many flexible treatment programs tailored to your needs and goals. Whether you begin with detox or prefer a less structured approach, we have the resources and expertise to help you find success. Opioid addictions can be dangerous, but we are here to help. Call Washburn House today at 855.298.3104 for more information, or fill out our online form and let us get back to you.