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What Are the Side Effects of Abusing Opiates?

What are the Side Effects of Abusing Opiates

Codeine and methadone are both common examples of opioids, which are a class of painkillers. In recent decades, many doctors have begun overprescribing opioids, leading to an opioid addiction crisis. Easy access and overprescribing of these potent and addictive medications mean many people have come to abuse opioids. Abusing opioids occurs anytime someone uses the drug more frequently than their prescription indicates or in too high of a dose. In addition, experts consider any use outside of a formal prescription to be abuse. 

Opioid use so often leads to addiction because the body easily develops a tolerance to these drugs. That means it requires more and more to produce the same original high. While addiction is perhaps the biggest concern with opioid abuse, you should not overlook the side effects of opiate abuse. Learn more about opiate addiction treatment at Midwest Center at Youngstown by calling 844.544.0502.

Side Effects of Opiate Abuse

Doctors often prescribe opiates to provide pain relief and manage sleep issues. The side effects of opiate abuse are wide-ranging. It affects a person’s mood, physical health, psychological health, and behavior. Explore the side effects of opiate addiction related to each of these four categories below. 

Impact on Mood

The mood-related opiate abuse effects range from a lack of motivation to elevated moods. Which one is experienced depends on multiple factors, including a person’s biology. In addition, opioid abuse often can inhibit social behaviors and emotion recognition, making it more difficult to maintain friendships and other healthy relationships. 

Impact on Physical Health

The physical side effects of opiate addiction involve:

  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

In addition, long-term use of opioids can lead to a range of organ infections, including those of the lungs and heart.

Impact on Psychological Health

The impact of opiate abuse on psychological health is related to how it changes the mood. Cognitive problems are a significant concern and are some of the more serious long-term effects of opiate abuse. It is common for long-term opioid abusers to experience concentration issues, confusion, and disorientation. 

Impact on Behavior

Another class of side effects of opiate abuse is behavioral change. One of the more outwardly obvious changes in someone who is abusing opioids is a lack of coordination. They may become clumsy, drop things more often, and generally seem less physically stable than they were before using opioids. People struggling with opiate abuse may also withdraw socially, display slurred or impaired speech, and lose interest in hobbies or activities that they previously enjoyed.

Long-Term Effects of Opiate Abuse

Opioid addiction can be catastrophic for a person’s life, as consequences may be widespread. Things like job loss from decreased work performance and strained family relationships are common for people who abuse opioids. 

Another long-term effect of opiate abuse is that it disrupts the brain’s ability to produce endorphins. Those are a chemical that influences mood and feelings of pleasure. This, in turn, influences the user as they become less and less able to regulate pain and experience positive moods without using opioids. The brain can recover, but it can be a challenging process to do alone.

People who abuse opioids will also experience withdrawal symptoms when they do try to quit. These symptoms occur as the brain attempts to relearn how to function without using opioids. Without medical support and intervention, withdrawal symptoms may cause a person to run right back to their addiction to avoid dealing with these uncomfortable symptoms. 

Get Help at Midwest Center at Youngstown 

Overcoming drug abuse and addiction usually requires medical intervention. The good news is that addiction treatment programs are widely available. You can get help for opiate abuse effects with Midwest Center at Youngstown. Our medical professionals and addiction experts understand how opioid abuse impacts mood, physical and psychological health, and behavior. Find out why you should trust your recovery to Midwest Center at Youngstown by reaching out to 844.544.0502.