The country continues to feel the fallout from the effects of the opioid epidemic that first arose in the early 1990s. Places like Virginia are not immune to the devastation that has laid waste to so many communities throughout the United States. Red Oak Recovery® assists clients and their families who are experiencing the direct impacts of opioid abuse. Whether you’re facing an opioid addiction in Alexandria, Virginia, or Asheville, North Carolina, our team is here to help. Contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590 to learn more about our services.
What Started the Opioid Epidemic in Virginia?
Changes in how doctors prescribed opioids kicked off the current crisis. Before the 1990s, physicians usually prescribed opioid medication for extreme pain. They often gave it to people receiving chemotherapy treatment or those recovering from surgery. However, soon, pharmaceutical companies began promoting their drugs for less severe pain conditions. That led to people receiving opioids to treat health problems like back pain or arthritis discomfort.
Widespread use of opioids spread to areas like Alexandria, Virginia. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain that regulate the way you experience pain and pleasure. The effect that opioids have on the brain caused people to end up with an opioid dependency. Once they stopped having access to a legitimate opioid prescription, many turned to street drugs like heroin to experience similar sensations.
How Do Opioids Affect The Body?
Opioids encourage the production of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. You produce dopamine naturally through activities like exercise or positive interactions with others. Opioids create feelings of euphoria in individuals. Other side effects of opioid use include:
- Slowed breathing
Many people take opioids as prescribed and do not end up with a dependency. That typically happens when someone starts taking higher doses or takes them more frequently than recommended. Opioid addiction can cause you to experience cravings that consume every aspect of your life, possibly leading to an opioid overdose.
How Do You Develop a Dependency on Opioids?
Taking opioids for a long time can cause your body to develop a tolerance to the drugs. When that happens, your brain stops producing the same dopamine levels, prompting you to take more opioids to experience the same effects as before.
One sign that you have been caught up in the Virginia opioid epidemic is having withdrawal symptoms when you cut off your opioid use. Opioid withdrawal typically involves symptoms like:
- Problems sleeping
- Weight loss because of a lack of adequate nutrition
- Sweats, chills, and other flu-like symptoms
- Uncontrollable cravings for opioids
- Muscle cramps
Many people have trouble managing to break free of opioid addiction, putting them at risk of a drug overdose. Red Oak Recovery® offers addiction treatment services that we’ve designed to help you overcome an opioid dependency and break free of the Virginia opioid epidemic.
How Can You Treat Opioid Addiction?
Options for treating an opioid addiction at Red Oak Recovery® include enrolling in a residential treatment program, receiving counseling services, and joining support groups. Behavioral therapy can help you learn how to stop falling into destructive behaviors that drive your opioid abuse. You may also benefit from participating in alternative therapy sessions that aid in whole-body healing.
There’s no way to cure opioid addiction. It is a lifelong chronic illness that you can learn to manage while becoming healthy. Red Oak Recovery® treatment helps clients learn how to deal with stress, apply problem-solving skills to situations that might trigger a relapse, and how to live a life free of drug abuse.
You can also connect with others on the same recovery journey through Red Oak Recovery®’s 12-step program. It’s a place where you can learn from others who have gone through similar experiences with opioid addiction.
Let Red Oak Recovery® help you find a way to break free of the opioid epidemic sweeping through Virginia by calling 866.457.7590.