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Opioid addiction and adverse effects

Opioid addiction is a central nervous system disease that occurs as a result of continuous use of opioids (opiates).

Opioids generate a strong sense of euphoria and this is precisely this risk of the recreational use of these substances. There is a desire to increase the dose in order to enhance the effects of opioids, and this develops an addiction that is a serious medical and social problem.

There are natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic substances that contain opioids.

Natural substances originate from opium poppy and are called opiates, and the main in this group are morphine, codeine, thebaine and papaverine.

Semi-synthetic and synthetic substances are called opioids. Examples of semi-synthetic opioids are opioid pain relievers such as Dilaudid, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Oxycontin (Oxycodone) and illegal heroin.

Synthetic opioids include fentanyl, demerol, and methadone.

For centuries, opiates have been used as very effective painkillers. In addition, they cause a euphoric effect, as well as a relatively sedative effect and, are therefore very popular among people who use them for recreational purposes. This has led to opioids being the most commonly used medicines today worldwide.

Opioids act by binding to opioid receptors located in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, thus achieving beneficial and side effects.

zavisnost od opoida

Opioid addiction and symptoms

Symptoms develop not long after the use of opioids, and some of them include:

* Impaired pain perception

* Euphoria rushes

* Drowsiness

* Feeling of heavy limbs

* Uncontrolled desire for drugs

* Obsessive thoughts about purchasing and using opioids

* Personality changes

* Financial problems

* Reduced work or school performance

* Neglecting family obligations

* Social isolation

* Neglecting personal hygiene

* Heavy drinking

* Anxiety

* Mood swings

* Insomnia

* Headache

* Forgetfulness

* Changes in eating habits

* Weight loss

* Nausea

* Facial swelling

* Shaking hands.

Side effects of opioid use:

* Respiratory depression

* Elevation in body temperature

* Dry mouth

The duration of these symptoms is up to several hours and due to the decrease in concentration, it is impossible to function normally. If opioid use is continuous, there is a decrease in endogenous endorphin production in the brain as the body is getting used to acquire them from the external environment.

The more exogenous opiates are entered, the less there are natural ones, and therefore increasing quantities of opiates are needed to produce a powerful feeling of euphoria that used to be achieved with the help of a lesser dose.

The consequence of this is the development of tolerance to medicines, and abrupt termination of intake causes a complicated state, i.e. an opioid withdrawal syndrome indicating the presence of physical addiction.

Opioid (opiate) addicts seem empty, distant, and have a vacuous look. Other symptoms of opioid addiction include chronic fatigue, incomprehensible speech, poor coordination, regular use of laxatives (due to chronic constipation), scratching, itching, needle marks and narrowing of pupils.

Clinic for the treatment of addiction disorders Dr Vorobjev

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