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Opioid is the term now used for the entire family of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic. Medical professionals use the word opioid to refer to most opioids, and opiate for a specific non-synthetic opioid; however, many only use “opioid”.

There Are Four Broad Classes of Opioids:

  • Endogenous opioid, naturally produced in the body, endorphins
  • Opium alkaloids, such as morphine and codeine
  • Semi-synthetic opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, and Buprenorphine
  • Synthetic opioids, such as methadone, that have structures unrelated to the opium alkaloids

Brand Names Opioid Drugs Include:

  • OxyContin®
  • Percocet®
  • Vicodin®
  • Percodan®
  • Tylox®
  • Demerol®

What Are the Risks and Side Effect of Opioid Use?

Prescription opioids carry serious risks of addiction and overdose, especially with prolonged use. An opioid overdose, often marked by slowed breathing, can cause sudden death. The use of prescription opioids can have a number of side effects as well, even when taken as directed:

  • Tolerance – meaning you might need to take more of a medication for the same pain relief
  • Physical dependence – meaning you have symptoms of withdrawal when a medication is stopped
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth
  • Sleepiness and dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Low levels of testosterone that can result in lower sex drive, energy, and strength
  • Itching and sweating

How Do Opioids Affect the Brain?

Opioids attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs. When opioid drugs attach to these receptors in certain brain regions, they can diminish the perception of pain.

Opioids can also cause a person to feel relaxed and euphoric by affecting areas of the brain that deal with what we perceive as pleasure. These feelings can be intensified when opioids are abused using routes of administration other than what is recommended. Repeated abuse of opioids can lead to addiction – compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite its known harmful consequences.

Find the Help You Need to Overcome Opioid Addiction

If you cannot get off opioids, suffer withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of using, and compulsively use them despite harm to your health and life, you are dependent on opiates and may need help to stop. To find a program and begin your recovery, connect with someone who can help you now by calling Florida Center for Recovery at our toll free number: 844-989-4036. Our recovery advisors are available 24/7 to provide you with information regarding treatment, admissions, insurance and private pay options.

Florida Center for Recovery offers inpatient addiction treatment programs with all-inclusive medical detox on premises. Our programs include biofeedback therapy to help our clients better manage their withdrawal symptoms by effectively controlling stress and other unfavorable emotions. Biofeedback therapy integrates well with other treatment options like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This treatment also pairs well with other alternative recovery techniques we offer like art and music therapy.