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The Opioid FAQ: Schizophrenia’s Spin:

Posted by Sara Niemiec on Jan 11, 2018 10:00:00 AM

 

Opioids: They are the current drug taking over the nation. These powerful drugs are often utilized to dilute pain by “attacking” the brain's pain receptors. When these receptors in the brain are attacked, the individual’s pain fades for a certain duration of time leaving them in a relaxed and agonizing free state. Opioids, like any other stress-relieving drug, can have long-term effects and issued if abused.

A massive problem surrounding this drug is a physical dependence, which if not treated, can lead to death. There are various forms of this drug-liquid. Pill and capsules. While these forms are available, the results are still devastating. What is shocking to some is the fact that these “pain relievers” actually fall within the same class as heroin-and the symptoms and likelihood of death are just as quantifiable.

Media Coverage

You may have noticed the presence of opioids in our society before scrolling upon this article. The President of the United States just claimed a state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis, and it is as severe as ever. Unfortunately, opioids will demolish anyone in their path. They do not discriminate and affect men as much as they do women.

Just because an individual is prescribed opiates for a temporary amount of time does not mean they will form an addiction, but if they play with the dosage and continue to use, they may be going down a dangerous path. Since opioids are in the same class as heroin, the same tracks result from usage can occur and lead to the same fate-addiction or death.

Are Doctors To Blame?

Think about if you have ever had surgery. Wisdom teeth removal for instance-You were most likely given pain killers after your surgery. More often than not, those pain killers are opioids. These drugs are intended to help manage the pain and can be prescribed if your pain level is extreme enough to where they will drug to medications within the high strength drug class.

There are multiple drugs which fall into the category of opioids: OxyContin, Percocet, Demerol and more are available throughout the world. When they are bought on the street and not received through a doctor they are known by other names: Perks, Oxy, OxyCat, Demies and Poke balls. Although there are an endless amount of names for these substances, these are very prominent in the drug trading spectrum.

A woman taking a pain killer. Potentially an opioid prescribed to her for pain from her doctor following s surgery.

Your Brain On Drugs

One of the most common things to occur while we take drugs is for our brain to experience relaxed and enticing feelings. We have receptors within our brain, and when we take drugs, specifically opioids, our pain receptors in our brains are attacked, and the pain is nullified. The reason why these painkillers are so addictive is that our reward centers in our brains like the feeling we experience when we are on drugs and our body craves the excitement again.

When the reward centers like something we experience, we will continue to desire it because the experience is so enticing. Although drug tolerance and individual body types vary, the average high can last from 2-16 hours. As individuals continue to use, they may build a tolerance and will take more of the substance to get the same high they initially first felt. One of the less commonly known side effects of the use of this drug specifically is the shrinkage of the cells in the brain.

Just from using opioids a few times, you are allowing the potential for those cells to either shrink or die within 6-12 months of drug use. Even though addiction may not occur during the first use, if the user is persistent, the brain and body, potentially the user, will crave more and addiction will form.

Stopping The Drug Mid Emergency

Every time we play with drugs we are playing with the opportunity of a drug overdose. Overdoses can happen intentionally or by accident, but regardless of the intentions, it is smart to know common overdose symptoms to potentially save a life.

• Check the pupils of the user. The pupils may range in size which correlates with the substance they ingested.

• Breathing is extremely critical. It is very common for individuals breathing to range from being slow or rapid depending on the substance.

• If the person is unconscious, 911 needs to be dialed immediately so professionals can arrive on the scene.

• No opioid has the same symptoms of overdose, but if an individual who uses opiates is showing any of these symptoms, or if you think they will overdose, get help immediately.

The best way to avoid an overdose or a fatality is to nip the addiction in the bud and stop it before it has a chance to begin.

Avoiding Addiction

Drug Addictions can be scary, but they are not inevitable. Sometimes we need opioids to recover from an accident or surgery. The best way to avoid an opioid addiction is to take the prescribed amount. Our doctors tell us a specific dosage for a reason, and it is essential we listen.

Stopping The Addiction

To help cure a drug addiction, it is vital for the individuals or their loved one to realize they need help and locate an inpatient drug facility equipped to help them cure their addiction. Some universal takeaways on addiction are as follows:

• The drug takes over the user’s life. It is like a demon hiding in the shadows waiting for the abuser to fail and for the demon to take over.

• The individual may seem selfish or act as they do not care, but addiction is severe and is hard to control even for the user.

• Addiction is not a choice people decide to make. It is a disease, and it destroys lives.

It may be hard to maintain a relationship with an individual who is addicted to drugs. Their drug use can add unnecessary stress and ruin the relationship. The addict may say they want to get better, but then keep using. Although it can be debilitating, it is helpful for loved ones to stay involved and try to help the addicted individual. They may not realize they want or need help, but when they do, they will need a reliable support system.

Withdrawing The Demons Power

Upon arrival to a rehabilitation facility, the user will go through a detoxification program where they will begin their drug-free stay. Withdrawal from powerful substances can be just as dangerous as using drugs. Before starting a detox program whether at home or in a facility with medical staffs, you should do research and find a proper medical professional or facility you can talk with. Getting your body clean can help provide a new start for drug users.

Schizophrenia and Opioids

Schizophrenia is a very serious disorder. Although it can be tough at times, it is also able to be managed through medications and counseling. One thing that many sufferers might look for is an escape from the psychosis, voices and out of body experiences.

Although opioids give a stress relieving feeling by numbing the pain receptors, schizophrenia and opioids should not be mixed. Even though individuals may turn to substances like drugs or alcohol to distract them from their symptoms, by engaging with opiates, they are harming their recovery. Schizophrenia is an intense mental disorder, and although the individuals with the condition may seem a little unique due to the psychotic spells they may endure, drugs will only worsen their lives.

Drugs can lead us to make unwise decisions that can affect our state mentally, physically or emotionally. When we enter a compromised state due to drugs, we may not think rationally and do things we normally wouldn’t. A perfectly healthy individual could engage with opioids and destroy their life. Individuals with schizophrenia, while able to live a completely normal life, are at risk of more dangerous side effects if they decide to try opioids.

For individuals with schizophrenia or any mental disorder, recovery is an imperative step for an individual to be able to live their best life. By playing with drugs, while they may think by temporarily alleviating their symptoms, they are derailing their chance for a more stable life.

 

Taking opioids are dangerous regardless of who takes them. Whether an individual has schizophrenia or not, the decision to play with drugs can still inhibit one’s life and future. If you or someone you know are using opioids, or are ready to take the next steps, there are places where they can get help. While there is an incredible amount of individuals who use drugs in our society, there are also an immense amount of people wanting to help those individuals get better. It is never too late to turn one’s life around, and there is always support-sometimes we just need to look a little harder.

 

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Topics: Opioids