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What Are the Dangers of Opioid Use Disorder?

woman sitting on couch deep in thought wondering what are the dangers of opioid use disorder

Today, across the United States and here in Nebraska, people from all walks of life struggle with opioid use disorder (OUD). The country is in a long-standing opioid epidemic. Prescription and illicit opioids are incredibly difficult to stop using without psychiatric and medical intervention. The best way to avoid opioid abuse, overdose, and opioid use disorder is with a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program.

If you or someone in your life is abusing opioids, Northpoint Nebraska can help. Our opioid addiction treatment programs can help you avoid and overcome opioid addiction with a range of outpatient programs. Call Northpoint Nebraska now at 402.698.3475 to learn more about OUD treatment in Omaha, Nebraska.

What Is Opioid Use Disorder?

Simply put, opioid use disorder is an addiction to opioids. Originally derived from the opium poppy, opioids are synthetic and semi-synthetic painkillers. Like opium, they provide strong pain relief and euphoric feelings. Common opioids include:

  • Vicodin
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycontin

The more often someone takes opioids, the more quickly they will build up a tolerance. This means they will need a higher dose for the same pain relief or euphoric feeling. For many people, prescription opioids can lead to illicit opioid use.

Signs of Opioid Abuse and OUD

Cravings and withdrawal are the first sign opioid use has turned into OUD. Abusing opioids can include:

  • Taking more opioids than prescribed
  • Getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors
  • Seeking and using illicit opioids
  • Using someone else’s prescription
  • Combining opioids and alcohol

When the body becomes addicted to opioids, the brain will convince someone they will not survive without more opioids. This is a natural response to chemical dependence. Opioid withdrawal can be especially mentally, physically, and emotionally painful. Commonly called “dope sickness,” opioid withdrawal can include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irrational behavior
  • Reckless behavior
  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Drug-seeking behavior
  • Sweating

Withdrawal can lead to reckless, drug-seeking behavior. It can cause people to be a danger to themselves and others, which is why it’s best to detox from opioids with medical intervention and psychiatric support.

Dangers of Opioid Use Disorder

Despite some opioids coming from prescription bottles, they can be detrimental and fatal. Opioids change a person’s brain chemistry, making them highly addictive and hard to quit. Even when taken as prescribed, opioids can lead to addiction, overdose, and opioid-related death. Because opioids slow down the nervous system, they can slow and stop the body’s processing. This includes:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

The stronger the opioid dose, the more likely someone is to overdose. During an overdose, a person may lose consciousness, making it impossible to get help.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment In Omaha, Nebraska

Finding the right treatment program is the first step in preventing opioid-related overdose and death. Many programs use medically assisted detox and medical intervention to help reduce opioid cravings and slowly reduce opioid levels. This, combined with addiction therapy, can reduce the risk of relapse and increase the rate of rehab retention.

At Northpoint Nebraska, we make opioid treatment accessible with a range of outpatient programs that fit your schedule. Our programs include:

  • Drug detox and rehab
  • Alcohol detox and rehab
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Medical intervention
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention

If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid use disorder, do not attempt to quit at home. The team at Northpoint Nebraska is here to help you with medical intervention and addiction therapy.

Begin Opioid Use Disorder Treatment at Northpoint Nebraska Today

Avoid relapse and overdose. Call Northpoint Nebraska now 402.698.3475 to get started with our opioid use disorder program.