Opioid medications can help control the pain that includes surgery pain. You may experience several risks when opioid medications are not consumed correctly. Opioid abuse became a major crisis in the US. Opioids are considered addictive, and more than ninety Americans died due to opioid consumption on every day, and on average.


If you are wondering what opioids are, they are a broad group of pain-relieving drugs that help interact with opioid receptors in your cells. Opioids are also produced from the poppy plant.


Want to know what happens when opioid medications enter through your blood? It will attach to opioids receptors in the brain cells, then the cells release signals that mute the perception of pain and also help boost your feelings of pleasure. Opioid medications are most commonly utilized for the treatment of many and diverse chronic painful conditions.


As reported by  the US National Library of Medicine, “The role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain is also influenced by the fact that these potent analgesics are associated with a significant number of side effects and complications.”


As stated by Mayo Clinic, around 5-8 million Americans use opioid medications to get relief from chronic pain. Opioid drug is known as the most abused class of drugs in the USA.


Common Side Effects of Opioid Abuse

Opioid medications’ side effects are dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical tolerance, physical dependence, and respiratory depression.


The less common side effects are hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, myoclonus, delayed gastric emptying, and rigidity.


Did you know? Constipation and nausea are the most common side effects of opioid usage. Both side effects are very difficult to control, and often tolerance to them does not develop. It is mainly applicable for constipation.


Long-Term Effects

Continued consumption of opioid abuse can lead to addiction and physical dependence. Slowly the body starts to adapt to the presence of drugs and can develop some symptoms specially when you quit consuming the drug.


The symptoms are:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Cold flashes with goosebumps


Short term Side effects


We have enlisted the short term effects of opioids abuse-

  • Slowed breathing
  • Coma
  • Unconsciousness
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea


When Opioid Medications Are Dangerous?

Opioid medications are effective to treat pain, but it also makes them dangerous.

These drugs can make you feel sleepy if you consume at lower doses, but higher doses slows heart and breathing rate that may lead to death.


The feelings of pleasure make us consume more opioids, and this continuous experience of opioid consumption leads to addiction.


You can lower the risk of dangerous side effects if you follow your doctor’s instructions properly and take your medicine as per the prescriptions. You should let your doctor know all of the other medicines and supplements you are consuming.


Proper education, screening, and pre-emptive treatment may reduce the severity of side effects because opioids are known as broad-spectrum analgesic agents that affect widely our organ systems and can influence a great number of body functions. If your loved one is victim or addicted to opioid drugs, the first step is to see your physician or any other health professional who can assist him/her.