The Long Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

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The effects of opioid abuse can cause a ripple effect through the lives of not only the person struggling but also their loved ones. Abusing opioids is a dangerous game to play and can have fatal results. The wreckage and devastation associated with opioid abuse reach many lives and have negative consequences. Understanding the dangers and effects of opioids can help those who are struggling to seek the right help and begin healing to not only gain control of their lives again but also begin healing and living a better life.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a group of pain relief medications. They interact with, and alter the opioid receptor of the brain. They are used to treat pain after surgery or in those who suffer from chronic pain conditions. They work by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and blocking pain senses in those who use them. Prescription opioids are legally obtained through a written prescription from a medical doctor, while illicit forms of opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, are manufactured and distributed illegally. Some other examples of opioids include morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Opioids like heroin and fentanyl can be manufactured illegally, with no regulation or supervision on what is going into them. This makes them extremely dangerous. The effects of opioid abuse can lead to overdose and even death.

How Dangerous are Opioids?

Due to the addictive qualities of opioids, they can be extremely dangerous if not properly monitored and used. The effects of opioids often lead to people abusing them, leading to dependence and inevitably addiction to the drugs. Opioids are dangerous, as they lead to things like addiction, overdose, and even death. Long-term abuse of opioids can lead to impacts on health and overall well-being. Heart problems, liver damage, and other health complications can be result of abusing opioids. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can become more prevalent or exacerbated as a result of abusing these drugs. 

Effects of Opioids

Opioids have different effects that can be mild to severe in people who are using them. Some effects of opioid abuse include:

  • Drowsiness at inappropriate times
  • Itchiness
  • Constricted, or “pinned” pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sense of euphoria
  • Respiratory depression
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Liver damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death


The effects of opioid abuse can lead to extreme and severe impacts on a person’s overall well-being. Careers, school, family, and friendships can all be damaged or lost due to abusing these dangerous substances. Someone who is addicted to opioids can exhibit some signs that could be indicative of having a problem with the substance. Some of these signs include things like using opioids despite negative consequences, social withdrawal, lying and hiding their usage, doctor shopping, and stealing. Once a person has become addicted to these substances it can be extremely hard to stop using them, making the cycle of addiction all the more dangerous. 

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The effects of opioid abuse result in dependence and addiction. When a person becomes addicted to these substances they often have trouble trying to stop using them. This is because the body has become dependent on opioids in order to function properly. Often, at this point, if they try to stop using they will experience some severely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Fever
  • Headache


These symptoms often lead people to use opioids again when they try to stop using “cold turkey” as they can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. This is why it is highly suggested to undergo professional medical monitoring as someone goes through opioid withdrawal.

Opioid Detox

The effects of opioid abuse can be dangerous, and when a person makes a decision to come off of them it can be a difficult task. Opioid detox is available to help those who are struggling to rid the body of the toxins produced by opioids and begin with a fresh slate. Being able to be comfortable through this process can be extremely beneficial to a person’s successful recovery from opioid abuse and addiction. Detox is a necessary step when it comes to recovering from these substances. A successful detox and withdrawal process can make a world of difference when it comes to long-term recovery.

Begin Healing From The Long Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

Struggling with opioids is a challenging experience for anyone who is going through it. It can lead to some severe impacts on a person’s life and overall well-being. Family relationships, friendships, jobs, and health can all be impacted by opioid abuse. Healing is essential for finding recovery and beginning to live a healthier and happier lifestyle. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioids, The Healing Center can help. We offer comprehensive care for individuals who are struggling. Call us today and begin your journey to recovery.