The Long Term Toll of Opioid Addiction

Opioid Addiction - image:
Opioid Addiction - image:

Thunder Bay – LIVING – The City of Thunder Bay has many methadone clinics. Our community has issues with drug addiction and has not been spared the devastating impact of the opioid addiction crisis.

Taking opioids like Percocet over the long term can have significant negative impacts on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Here are some of the potential long-term effects:

  1. Physical Health Effects:
    • Tolerance: Over time, the body can become tolerant to opioids, meaning that the same dose becomes less effective. This can lead to a person taking higher and higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief, which increases the risk of overdose.
    • Physical Dependence: Long-term use of opioids can lead to physical dependence, where the body requires the drug to function normally. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe when trying to quit or reduce the dose.
    • Chronic Pain: Paradoxically, long-term opioid use can sometimes lead to an increase in the perception of pain, a phenomenon known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia.
    • Respiratory Problems: Opioids can depress the respiratory system, and long-term use can increase the risk of respiratory issues and infections.
  2. Mental Health Effects:
    • Depression: Opioid use can lead to depressive symptoms. The cycle of needing opioids to function and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking them can contribute to depression.
    • Anxiety: Chronic opioid use may also increase anxiety symptoms. This can be due to the fear of withdrawal or the psychological impact of relying on a substance.
    • Cognitive Impairment: Long-term opioid use can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulties with memory, attention, and decision-making.
    • Mental Health Disorders: Opioid misuse is associated with an increased risk of developing mental health disorders, including anxiety and mood disorders.
  3. Social and Economic Impact:
    • Relationships: Opioid addiction can strain relationships with family and friends, leading to social isolation.
    • Employment: Maintaining employment can become challenging due to the physical and cognitive effects of opioids.
    • Financial Strain: Maintaining an opioid addiction can be expensive, leading to financial difficulties.
  4. Legal Consequences: Long-term opioid use, especially if it involves misuse or obtaining opioids illegally, can lead to legal problems, including arrest and incarceration.

While Percocet itself doesn’t directly cause anger, it can have various side effects that may affect a person’s mood or behavior. Some people may experience mood swings, irritability, or changes in emotional state when taking opioids like oxycodone. These effects can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience them.

Additionally, when used improperly or in higher doses than prescribed, Percocet can lead to a range of negative psychological and behavioral effects, including agitation, aggression, and changes in mood. Misuse of opioids can also lead to addiction, which can have its own set of emotional and behavioral consequences.

It’s essential to note that not everyone who uses opioids will experience all of these effects, and the severity of these consequences can vary from person to person. Additionally, opioid use can have immediate and severe health consequences, such as overdose, which can be fatal.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use, it’s crucial to seek help from a healthcare professional or addiction treatment center. Opioid addiction is a treatable condition, and there are various therapeutic and medical interventions available to help individuals recover and improve their physical and mental health.

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