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What Is Opioid Dependence?

Person struggling with opioid dependence being comforted by someone else

Opioid dependence is a significant and widespread issue that affects countless individuals and families across the United States. Understanding the nature of this dependence, its signs, and how one can help a person struggling with opioid addiction is essential in combating the growing opioid epidemic. Call 888.663.3844 to speak with someone from the knowledgeable and experienced team at Sanative Recovery and Wellness about the opioid epidemic in the U.S., signs of opioid dependence, and our opioid addiction treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What Is the Opioid Epidemic in the United States?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers, synthetic drugs, and illegal substances, such as:

  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin

These drugs act on the opioid receptors in the brain, producing pain relief, relaxation, and a sense of euphoria. Unfortunately, opioids have a high potential for abuse, leading to dependence and addiction even when used as prescribed.

The opioid epidemic has significantly increased opioid addiction, overdose, and death rates in recent years. It began in the 1990s with the over-prescription of opioid painkillers, which led to widespread misuse and a surge in addiction rates. The epidemic has since grown to unprecedented levels, with over 70,000 people dying from an opioid overdose in 2019 alone. This crisis has had far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities, and remains a significant public health issue.

What Are the Signs of Opioid Dependence?

What is opioid dependence? This refers to a physical or psychological need for opioids, often resulting from the brain’s adaptation to the drug’s presence. Some signs of opioid addiction may include:

  • Changes in appearance, mood, and behavior
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • Opioid cravings
  • Taking opioids in more significant amounts or for a longer time than prescribed
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not taken, such as sweating, cravings, nausea, and irritability

Like most dependence, a primary sign of opioid addiction is continuing to use these harmful drugs despite negative consequences, such as health issues, relationship problems, or financial troubles.

How Do You Help Someone Struggling with Opioid Addiction?

Supporting someone with an opioid addiction requires empathy, patience, and understanding. Here are some ways to help:

  • Educate yourself on opioid addiction and treatment options available, such as inpatient/outpatient treatment, support groups, or therapy
  • Approach the person with love, respect, and a non-judgmental attitude
  • Provide emotional support by listening and offering encouragement
  • Set healthy boundaries and avoid enabling their addiction

However, the best way to help someone struggling with substance dependence is to encourage professional help from addiction specialists, therapists, or support groups.

Benefits of Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction treatment provides numerous benefits for individuals and their loved ones, including:

  • Improved physical health and a reduced risk of overdose or other opioid-related health complications
  • Emotional healing and the development of healthy coping mechanisms
  • Mending damaged relationships with friends and family members
  • Increased self-esteem and the ability to rebuild one’s life, including pursuing personal goals and interests
  • Support from a like-minded community of individuals in recovery, providing a sense of belonging and accountability

Opioid addiction treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio, is provided by Sanative Recovery and Wellness. We are dedicated to providing quality opioid rehabilitation services that promote hope, healing, and personal growth. Reach out today for more information about our opioid addiction treatment program.

Find an Opioid Addiction Treatment Program in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Sanative Recovery and Wellness

What is opioid dependence? It is a serious and complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach to combat effectively. By understanding the problem, recognizing the signs of dependence, and supporting those struggling with addiction, we can work together to address the opioid epidemic in the United States. Contact Sanative Recovery and Wellness today at 888.663.3844 to learn more about opioid dependence, the opioid epidemic in the U.S., and our opioid addiction treatment program in Ohio.