Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. It's far-reaching and continues to infiltrate our communities, workplaces, and lives.
We're committed to addressing the crisis in communities around the country while ensuring that patients get the right care in the right setting. Recovery is a team effort, and no one should feel isolated, or that they have to go through it alone.
Did you know that on average, 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose?
Opioid addiction is more common than you might think. Millions of Americans are prescribed opiates to treat injuries or illnesses, but most of them are unaware of the long-term effects on their bodies.
Need Help Now?
In the event of a crisis, always call 911. Calling 911 will result in emergency room treatment. The hospital will help coordinate follow up care if needed, potentially at a treatment facility. Note that emergency room clearance is a common requirement prior to entering a treatment facility.
National Hotline: Call 1-800-662-4357
Insurance Card: CBA Members can call the number listed on the back of their card.
Opioids & the Brain
The key to understanding opioid addiction begins with your brain. How does the addiction occur and why is it so prevalent? If you have ever fractured a bone or had surgery, you probably took an opiate for pain. It’s what happens to your brain while taking the medication that really holds the answer.
With as many as 100 million people suffering from chronic pain, opioids have become the treatment of choice.
Many people are unaware that the human body produces opioids. If you are ever severely injured, naturally occurring opioids will provide pain relief until you can seek medical attention.
Endorphins are a naturally occurring type of opioid. You probably have heard of the term “exercise euphoria,” which occurs when endorphins are released by the brain. It’s that great feeling you get after working out. Natural opioids trigger receptors in your brain that mimic pleasure and act as a pain reliever. Once your brain gets used to the ingested opiates, your body slows down the production of natural ones.
Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t automatically begin creating opioids once you stop your medication. The human body will take some time to start producing opioids again. It will be a while before your body can create enough natural opioids to make you feel better.
Recognize the Signs
Anyone can become dependent on opioids. How can you tell if you are addicted? Are you taking more than is prescribed or having trouble discontinuing use? These may be early signs that your opioid use is becoming a problem. Here are the most common symptoms of opioid addiction:
- Hot and cold sweats
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
As with any drug addiction, withdrawal symptoms make it harder for you to stop. The physical symptoms can last from seven days to a month, while the emotional symptoms can continue for several months.
There are several options for treating prescription opioid addiction. Now that you know the signs, talk with your doctor about treatment options. Medically supervised therapies can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and get you on the road to a healthier you.
Our members have access to support services through our team of licensed behavioral health clinicians and nurses. Our expert team can connect you with the right health care professional, with experience treating substance use disorder and opioid dependence*.
*CBA does not offer medical treatment or advice.
Interested in joining a support group or educating yourself about the problem and treatment options? Below are some other trusted organizations with resources on opioid addiction.