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Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest problems we face today. The opioid crisis is ravaging America. The problem with this addiction epidemic is that the abuser doesn’t realize they have a problem.  By educating yourself about these potentially addictive prescriptions, you can get help for you or a family member.

The Most Abused Drugs: Opioids

Heroin may be the first drug that comes to mind when you think opioid addiction but it’s not.

Prescription medications lead to opioid addiction for some people who struggle with chronic pain or after a medical procedure.  Many prescription drugs offer the user a feeling of euphoria. Not everyone who takes an opioid is at risk for dependence requiring addiction treatment, but these drugs are the most commonly abused.

The most commonly abused opioids include:

The majority of these illicit drugs are obtained from family and friends and not drug dealers.  A physician is also a great source of obtaining opioids. The use and abuse of opioids date back to as far back as 2000 B.C.

The Effects of an Opioid

After the drug is taken it attaches to an opioid receptor in the brain.  The feeling of pain is no longer there and one feels sedated. Some experience a feeling energized as well as a pleasurable sensation.  Those who report a feeling of Euphoria are more prone to developing an addiction and requiring treatment for their dependence.  This drug seems to be mood altering for some users that it does not do for most people. Changes in the structure of the brain and the function of the brain are results of repeated use of the opioids. The drug abuser will want the drug even when the substance no longer gives them the euphoric feeling they desire.

To intense the high or to receive a higher concentration to the brain faster, the drug can be snorted, inhaled or injected.  As a result, the user may choose to abuse the drug in this manner, and are therefore more susceptible to addiction.

Is Opioid Dependence and Addiction the Same?

Unequivocally Yes-  When you have an opioid dependence you have a disease that affects the brain with a physical and psychological need for an opioid.   This behavior requires opioid addiction treatment. The addict can’t stop using opioids even when they and others are aware of the problem.  They will become overwhelmed with the desire to use the drug and lose the ability to refrain from drug use. Signs of Opioid addiction include:

  • Denial
  • Using more than prescribed
  • A lot of time using or recovering from drug use
  • Neglecting work, school, or family obligations
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop using Opioids
  • Continued use despite harm to your health, job or family.
Physical Dependence

A person has a physical dependence when they need more of the drug to receive the same effect.  Soon they will experience withdrawal symptoms if the substance is not being used.  Most addicts who seek opioid addiction treatment have some degree of physical dependence.  Some patients with physical dependence can exhibit addictive behaviors but not require addiction treatment.  They need better pain management.

As an employer, you may be concerned about your bottom line, but the well being of your employees is a concern as well. You should direct all staff members with substance abuse to a qualified treatment program.  At Asana Recovery, we provide a comprehensive treatment program to people with substance abuse issues.  Each program is designed to the particular needs of each client so they can receive the help they need and deserve.  Ask your company to contact us today at 949-438-4504.