Any addiction, from gambling to overeating, can derail your life, but drug addiction — especially opioid abuse — can be fatal. But before it gets to that, opioid addiction often drags its victims through a long list of serious consequences, including some very dangerous circumstances and health issues.
With four locations in Delaware, our team of opioid addiction experts at Alpha Care Medical specializes in breaking the tight grip opioids have on people’s lives. We use a multidisciplinary approach that tackles the problem from several angles, including medication-assisted treatments and behavioral health therapy sessions, to help you beat cravings, manage your symptoms, and overcome your addiction.
If someone you love is already addicted to opioids, you know the dangers well, but many addicts don’t recognize the physical, mental, and social cost of their disease. Here’s a closer look at the pitfalls and perils of opioid addiction.
Suffering through the symptoms
The most obvious dangers of opioid abuse are the symptoms it causes. Classic signs of addictions include:
- A need for more of the drug to get the same “high” effect
- A preoccupation with getting more drugs
- An inability to quit
- Irritability and mood swings
- Lethargy, lack of motivation, and disinterest
Once addicted, the user develops an increased tolerance for the drug, which makes the problem increasingly worse and more dangerous.
More opioid dangers
Opioid addiction is aggressive and pervasive, reaching into every aspect of an addicted person’s life. Here are just a few of the ways it causes destruction and pain.
When drugs become top priority, everyone and everything else slips down a rung or two (or more). It’s common for opioid addicts to lash out at loved ones who are “just trying to help” or cut off communication because of shame.
Also, when opioids have a hold on a person’s life, they will do just about anything to hide the problem and get their hands on more drugs, which means deception becomes a way of life and relationships suffer.
Inability to get and keep a job
Opioid addiction alters your physical and cognitive abilities, which may cause you to mess up at work. You may not be able to crunch numbers, answer phones politely, show up to work on time, or operate machinery. And when your performance goes, your employability follows.
Depression and withdrawal
The link between depression and opioid addiction is a two-way street. Those who suffer from despair and loneliness often self-medicate with opioids. But opioid addiction can also lead to or exacerbate depression, as feelings of hopelessness and guilt take over. Studies show that people who use heroin (a popular opioid) are up to four times as likely as those who don’t to experience major depressive disorders.
If opioids take control of your life, you may do things you’ve never done before to obtain more drugs, even break the law. It’s not uncommon for opioid addicts to turn to forgery, robbery, burglary, larceny, vandalism, and even distribution of drugs.
Opioids are highly destructive to the entire body, and it doesn’t take much to cause damage. You can quickly become tolerant of opioids, which can lead to the need for more and more to satisfy cravings and stave off withdrawal symptoms.
Taking increasing amounts can lead to overdose, which can result in:
- Dangerously slow breathing
- A buildup of fluid in your lungs
- Muscle damage
- Brain damage
In 2019 alone, there were nearly 50,000 opioid-overdose deaths in the United States. Whether it’s prescription pain drugs, such as morphine, hydrocodone, codeine, or fentanyl, or an illegal drug, such as heroin, they are equally dangerous and equally fatal if abused.
Opioid addiction is reversible
Our team at Alpha Care Medical can help you or your loved one find the road back to a drug-free life without the pain of withdrawals. We offer medication-assisted treatments that wean you off the opioids and eliminate your cravings so you can get the drug out of your system and heal.
We also come alongside you with behavioral therapy to work through the emotional and psychological issues that developed during your addiction.
There’s hope for a happy healthy life beyond opioids. Come sees us at any of our locations in Seaford, Millsboro, Dover, or Harrington, Delaware. Call for an appointment today.