You’ve probably heard mention of the opioid crisis—an epidemic of drug addiction, centered on a specific category of narcotics. Despite all the media attention surrounding opioid addiction, there remains much misunderstanding about what opioids really are.
In this post, we’ll define the category, and offer some insights into what separates opioids from other types of drugs. We’ll discuss how opioids affect body and mind, and also list some specific examples of opioids. Finally, we’ll offer a few words about opioid rehab—and provide some hope for those who are struggling with opioid addiction.
There are three main categories of opioid drugs:
Below are some further points about each type of opioid.
As the name suggests, these drugs are all derived from a naturally-occurring source—specifically, poppy plants. These opioids are sometimes considered to be less powerful and therefore less addictive than their synthetic counterparts, yet they still have a significant impact on the body’s nervous systems—and as such, they can still be quite addictive.
There is a long history of natural opioids being used to mitigate pain, yet there is also a track record of these medicines—including morphine—being used to get high, illegally.
The second classification of opioids includes those that are made from both synthetic and natural opioid ingredients—making them sort of a hybrid version. They were initially developed to provide a safer alternative to their synthetic counterparts, yet they have both the same basic structure and the same serious effects as opioids in other forms.
Finally, there are the opioid drugs that are made in a laboratory and designed to have a similar chemical structure to natural opioids. In other words, these are made without the chemicals found in morphine, opium, and/or poppy plants.
Often, these drugs are used to treat opioid addiction—but the cruel irony is, they can be powerfully habit-forming and addictive in and of themselves. Indeed, they are potentially just as dangerous as natural and semisynthetic opioids.
No matter the type of opioid in question—natural, semisynthetic, or synthetic—they all work in roughly the same way:
There are a few specific types of opioid drugs to be aware of; again, they all work in roughly the same way, even if some are a bit more potent than others.
Again, there are subtle variations in these different forms of opioid drugs, yet the ultimate symptoms and signs of opioid addiction are fairly similar. Some of the primary ones include:
There are also some behavioral symptoms to be aware of:
And, for those who are in opioid withdrawal, some common symptoms include:
No matter what kind of opioid you are addicted to, or how many symptoms you have experienced, it’s important to know that recovery is always possible—and it starts with clinical treatment.
Take the first step toward your own addiction recovery. Reach out to our team today. Experience Recovery helps individuals develop lifelong sobriety, and prevent against relapse. We individualize our approach, and provide an opioid treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Begin a new life, free from the ravages of addiction; call and ask us about opioid rehab today.
If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.