While effective in treating pain, these medications can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Drug rehab centers following The National Institute on Drug Abuse policies to keep reporting estimates that 2.1 million people in the United States and 26.4 to 36 million people globally abuse opioids. Opioids are used in a variety of illicit substances, including heroin. Methadone is an opioid that is commonly prescribed to treat pain, but it can also be used to treat withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts. You can experience physical withdrawal symptoms if you avoid or reduce the amount of opioids you’re taking. This is particularly true if you’ve been taking these drugs in high doses for a long time. When you take massive doses of opioids for a long time, many processes in your body are affected. Since it takes time for your body to adapt to no longer having opioids in your system, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

There are four levels of opioid withdrawal: mild, moderate, moderately extreme, and severe. Your primary care provider will tell you whether you need a rehab center if you are addicted to opioids by looking at your medical history and symptoms, as well as using diagnostic methods like the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale.

What are the effects of opioids on the body?

Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the body, including the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. Opioids have their effects when they bind to these receptors. The brain creates its own opioids, which have a range of benefits, including pain relief, decreased respiratory rate, and even assisting in the prevention of depression and anxiety. The body, on the other hand, does not manufacture significant amounts of opioids — at least not enough to treat the pain associated with a broken leg. Additionally, the body never develops enough opioids to induce an overdose. Opioid medicines and illicit drugs are synthetic forms of natural opioids.

These medications have a number of effects on the body:

Opioids can slow breathing or reduce coughing by affecting the brainstem, which regulates functions such as breathing and heartbeat. To induce feelings of pleasure or relaxation, opioids can function on specific areas of the brain known as the limbic system, which regulates emotions.

Opioids function by manipulating the spinal cord, which is responsible for sending signals from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa.

What are the signs of opioid withdrawal?

Your body becomes desensitized to the effects of opioid medication after a long period of use. To achieve the same result, your body requires more and more of the medication over time. This is very risky and raises the chances of overdosing.

Long-term use of these medications alters the role of nerve receptors in the brain, making them reliant on the medication to function. If you become physically ill after stopping an opioid prescription, it may be a sign that you’re physically addicted to the drug. The body’s physical reaction to the drug’s absence is known as withdrawal symptoms.

To relieve pain or withdrawal symptoms, many people become addicted to these medications. In certain situations, people are completely unaware that they have become reliant. They may associate withdrawal symptoms with those of the flu or another illness.