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Risk Factors for Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose

Jan 11, 2021

Unlike some substances that take time to create addiction, opioids can speed up the process. First-time opioid users may not be aware of how quickly the drug can impact their body and brain. Patients with a prescription and recreational users both face the same kinds of risks. Today, let’s talk about some signs of opioid abuse and how to prevent an opioid overdose.

Opioid use disorder can come from the prescribed use of painkillers like codeine and oxycodone. The drugs can be highly addictive, and intense cravings/obsessions are a sign of opioid abuse. With the high risk of overdose in chronic users, it’s recommended friends and family store the mediation naloxone for emergencies. Withdrawal with medical supervision is a first step towards treatment for opioid use disorders. Treatment programs offering help with chronic pain management and co-occurring mental health disorders can help a patient begin recovery in a safe, supportive environment. 

Signs of Opioid Abuse

You may have noticed behavior and mood changes or other signs of your own opioid abuse. You may be struggling to pay your bills and see relationships with friends and family getting worse. Compulsions to use may get more intense. It can feel more difficult to control your use of an opioid. Mood swings may happen or bouts of anxiety and depression. You may feel nausea at times or notice your speech is slurred. Some people continue misusing the drug even after facing negative consequences at work, with family, or from the law.

Opioids Used & Misuse

The potential for opioid misuse comes with both legal and illegal opioids. Legal opioids, typically prescribed for pain, can be misused because of their high risk of becoming addictive quickly. You may recognize the names of some common versions of opioids, which are:

  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone

Misuse of these drugs can lead to overdose and death. Heroin, an illegal opioid, also can lead to overdose and death. Any use of heroin is considered misuse and can lead to short-term and long-term effects. For men, one noticeable long-term effect may be sexual dysfunction.

Prevention of Opioid Overdose

As opioid overdose can lead to permanent physical damage or death, it’s important to understand how to prevent it and what to do in case of an overdose emergency. In emergencies, the mediation naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It works by helping restore proper breathing to a person when it’s slowed or stopped after opioid misuse. It can be administered by medical personnel and purchased by anyone without a prescription. Family members and friends of chronic opioid users are encouraged to keep it in stock. Opioid users themselves should be aware of how chronic use can increase the amount or frequency of taking the drug. These elevated levels create a higher risk of overdose. Seeking treatment immediately for an addiction to prescription painkillers can also help an opioid user avoid the dangers of an overdose.

Treatment Options for Opiates at Origins Texas Recovery Center

The addiction specialists at Origins Recovery Center are experienced in treating opioid use disorder in men of all ages. Medical detox is the first step to help a patient safely experience withdrawal. A mental health assessment will find out if anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, or other mental health issue is connected to a patient’s opioid use. A program personalized for a patient attempting to recover from opioid misuse may include multiple forms of treatment. At Origins Recovery Center, the list of therapies for opioid addiction includes group and individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and chronic pain management. Trauma therapies, medication-assisted therapy with naloxone, wellness activities and recreational therapy, and neurological healing through Origins Center for Brain Recovery are also part of the programs at Origins Recovery Center.


Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-875-1558.

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