If you have a friend or family member navigating the rough seas of opioid addiction, you may already very well know that Utah is currently facing an “opidemic,” with six Utahns dying every week from opioid overdose. The Beehive State has the seventh highest drug overdose rate in the United States, and 80 percent of heroin users in Utah started with prescription opioids.

What is Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is defined by compulsive use of the drug, even when consequences are very harmful. Unfortunately, some opioid addictions come about when people are taking the drug as medically prescribed. Common opioids may seem harmless, with familiar names like Fentanyl, Morphine, and Oxycodone. But the danger of opioid dependency is severe. Opioids cause a strong high, as well as dreaded withdrawal symptoms that users will avoid at drastic measures.

For opioid addicts, the brain becomes accustomed to heightened stimulation and becomes dependent on unnatural levels of intense pleasure that they use to dull pain or get high. However, fulfilling these dependencies can result in severe physical problems and even death.

Emotional Effects of Addiction

It’s important for those supporting a loved one with an opioid addiction to understand the emotional and psychological effects opioid abuse has on a person. On a physical level, opioids can cause high blood pressure, decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, and over arousal. But the effects on mood can be just as severe and volatile.

Opioid abuse can bring about increased general anxiety, anxiety attacks, psychosis, depression, irritability, and lowered motivation. Additionally, opioid addiction can result in temporary feelings of euphoria and improved self-esteem, which fuels their dependency on the drug.

The psychological dependencies can be just as strong as the physical. Those going through withdrawal experience extreme feelings of depression. For this reason, support groups are crucial for recovery. These groups are designed to help both addicts and their loved ones. Talking to other people can help overcome the struggle, foster recovery, and promote healing.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Recovery

Withdrawal symptoms from opioids are typically severe and commonly include cold sweats, vomiting, pain, diarrhea, and more. Thankfully, detox and withdrawal from opioids can be successfully accomplished in 30 to 90 days. Rehab programs are a huge help with this process, offering devoted time to individual therapy, group therapy, and recovery activities.

The trials of opioid addiction can also be traumatic for family members. Utah Addiction Centers can help with the full range of needs for anyone addicted to opioids, relieving stress and giving you peace of mind.Contact Utah Addiction Centers for more detailed information on getting the help your loved one needs with their opioid addiction. Utah Addiction Centers offer a 24-hour hotline and a residential treatment center located in the scenic hills of Eagle Mountain, Utah.