Milwaukee Opioid Addiction
Treatment Center

Milwaukee Opioid Abuse & Addiction Recovery

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, and hopeless when you’re struggling with opioid addiction, but you are not alone. Around 21 million Americans are fighting the very same battle, and having access to a team of experienced professionals to support your recovery is essential to overcoming your opioid use disorder.

At Roots Recovery, we know that in order to successfully battle opioid abuse, you and your loved ones must understand what you’re up against. That’s why we’re committed to educating our community on opioid addiction recovery. Read on to learn more about opioid addiction, its signs and symptoms, and how it’s treated.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a group of natural or synthetic drugs that are used to relieve pain or produce feelings of pleasure. They do this by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain’s nervous system to release dopamine, a chemical in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Some opioids are often prescribed by doctors to relieve severe pain — for example, acute pain from an injury or surgery, chronic pain, or cancer treatment.

Prescription opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Diphenoxylate (Lomotil)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon)

These opioids are legal to prescribe and use, because the amount an individual can receive is monitored by a physician, since habitual use of opioids can so easily become addictive. However, other opioids — like heroin and street-produced fentanyl — are illegal to use and possess.

Opioid abuse disorder is a chronic relapsing condition with serious potential side effects and is characterized by the inability to stop using opioids. Opioid use can lead to physical dependence in as little as a month, and abruptly stopping use can lead to severe side effects.

Opioids vs. Opiates:
Understanding the Difference

The word “opioids” is often used interchangeably with “opiates,” but this isn’t always correct; all opiates are opioids, but the reverse isn’t true. That’s because “opioids” refers to the entire class of drugs, while the word “opiates” refers to opioids that are naturally produced. There are three types of opioids:

  • Naturally occurring opioids (or opiates) are derived directly from the opium poppy and include morphine, codeine, and thebaine.
  • Semi-synthetic opioids are produced in a lab but are derived from opiates, and include some of the most common prescription pain medications, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Heroin is also a semi-synthetic opioid.
  • Fully synthetic opioids are produced in a lab to mimic the effects of natural opioids and include fentanyl and methadone.
Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid
Abuse and Addiction

If you think you or a loved one might be struggling with opioid use disorder, symptoms might not be noticeable right away. Over time, though, opioid use can start to affect your daily life and behaviors. Some common signs of opioid addiction include:

  • The inability to control or stop opioid use
  • Uncontrollable opioid cravings
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Decreased libido
  • New financial difficulties
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Depression

Opioid use disorder should be diagnosed by a doctor, but if you think that you or a loved one need to seek help, it’s important to get involved with an opioid addiction treatment program in Milwaukee as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

Effects of Opioid Abuse
and Addiction

In the short term, taking opioids produces drowsiness, pain relief, confusion, and feelings of pleasure. But in the long term, opioids can lead to brain damage, liver disease, seizures, and strokes. These risks will vary in severity depending on how long an individual has been abusing opioids.

You can also develop an opioid tolerance the longer you take opioids, which means that more of the drugs are needed to feel an effect. This is incredibly dangerous because it can cause an overdose. Since opioids and opiates are depressants, they slow down the body’s functions, including breathing and heart rate. When too many opioids are taken, the body slows down so much that it stops functioning altogether, leading to death.

Milwaukee Opioid Detox and Withdrawal

If a person who has become dependent on opioids stops taking them, the withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be life-threatening. This is why it’s so important to seek out professional help if you decide to stop using opioids. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Itching

These withdrawal symptoms can begin within less than 24 hours of stopping opioid use. However, the severity of the symptoms and how long they last depend on how long an individual has been using opioids, which type was used and how, and their medical history and genetic factors. These factors make it especially important to seek professional help when trying to quit using opioids. A team of addiction therapists will have the resources you need to manage these dangerous symptoms safely.

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Finding professional help for opioid addiction detox is only the first step in recovery, and seeking help in the period after detox is important because opioid tolerance is reduced afterwards, making it easier to overdose if you relapse.

Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of recovery, because truly healing from opioid addiction means treating not just the physical symptoms of the addiction itself, but the causes. At Roots Recovery, we not only address the root of your opioid addiction, but provide you with healthy coping mechanisms, the tools you need to avoid triggers, and the skills you need to lead a healthy and fulfilling life in recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, call Roots Recovery today at 844.447.6687 or click below to learn about our treatment programs and take the first step toward reclaiming your life.