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What Is an Opioid?

Our country is currently dealing with a drug overdose epidemic, with one drug making headlines due to its addictive and lethal qualities. Of the 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2018, nearly 70 percent involved an opioid. But just what is an opioid? And how can people struggling with addiction get the help they need? We answer these questions and more in today’s article. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, request an appointment for heroin addiction treatment in Tampa

From the Opium Poppy Plant 

Opioids are a class of drugs derived from the opioid poppy. At first glance, an opium poppy would seem like little more than a blue-purple or white flower. However, opium, morphine, codeine, and heroin are all derived from its seed capsules. Native to Turkey, this plant has been known to relieve pain for thousands of years and has been used as a surgical analgesia for hundreds of years. 

Related: The Path to Recovery 

Today, opioids can take the form of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone, or heroin, a highly addictive and illegal schedule I drug with no accepted medical use. By binding to opioid receptors, these drugs dull pain and affect the brain’s reward system. This creates a feeling of euphoria that opioid abusers chase. Long term use of opioids can lead to opioid use disorder, a lifelong disorder characterized by:

  • Psychological addiction
  • Physical dependence and tolerance 
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down on opioid use
  • Inability to function at work, school, or home
  • Social and interpersonal problems
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Of note, opioids can restrict your ability to breathe, which can lead to an overdose. Even when taken as prescribed, opioids can have serious risks and complications. Seek heroin abuse treatment in Tampa if you are struggling with opioid use, whether prescription or otherwise. 

Related: Where Can I Turn for Addiction Treatment in Tampa?

The Dangers of Heroin

As mentioned, there are opioids with accepted medical uses. Heroin is not one of them. It’s an illegal and highly addictive substance that can lead to slowed breathing, coma, and death. It’s often injected, raising the chances of a person contracting a viral infection. And as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is almost always used with at least one other drug, which only increases the chances of overdose and death. 

As you can see, the risks of opioid abuse far outweigh any fleeting high. Whether purchased off the street or with a prescription, this is an incredibly addicting substance that is contributing to America’s drug overdose epidemic. Far too many lives have been cut short by this tragedy. Do not allow yourself to succumb to this treatable condition. Request an appointment at Phoenix House Florida for heroin abuse treatment in Tampa.  

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with a treatment specialist about heroin abuse treatment in Tampa. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Phoenix House Florida. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Phoenix House Florida is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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At Your House

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.

The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.