Opioids are narcotic painkillers that reduce the sending of pain messages to the brain, which results in reduced feelings of pain. They are used to treat pain that may not respond to other types of pain medications.
Opioid drugs may include:
Long-term use of opioids can lead to addiction. These medications not only block pain, but create artificial endorphins which our brain can start to rely on and ultimately stop producing its own endorphins naturally. Once addicted, a patient can build up a tolerance to the drug resulting in the need for higher doses to achieve the same amount of relief when first taking the medication. Addiction is considered a disease that takes hold when the patient can no longer function without the drug.
Since these medications directly affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing, high doses can lead to death by overdose . In some cases, death can also occur from serious withdrawal symptoms such as brain damage or cardiac arrest.
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If you or your loved one has experienced any of these adverse side effects, do not hesitate to contact our offices today. Call us at 1-800-598-0314 or fill out our contact form.