Surgery and Opioids: Can I Become Addicted?
Opioids are a powerful drug that was designed to help decrease significant pain. They can be a helpful resource for individuals who have experienced a terrible injury, are going through aggressive cancer treatments, or are in recovery from major surgery. Although they provide helpful benefits and comfort for the individuals who need them, they also run a significantly high risk of addiction. Learn more about surgery and opioids, how to safely use opioids after surgery, and treatment options for opioid addiction.
Surgery and Opioids: Sobering Statistics
- More than 300 million patients undergo surgical procedures each year
- 80% of patients who undergo surgery receive opioid analgesics as the fundamental agent for pain relief
- In the United States, deaths related to opioid exposure have reached 33,000 per year
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
According to The Truth, “Opioids” is a term for drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the body. It’s a huge bucket since it covers illegal substances as well as drugs prescribed by doctors. Which, actually, is part of the issue: regular use of opioid drugs, even as prescribed by a doctor or medical professional, can lead to dependence.
Prescription opioids commonly prescribed after surgery include:
Opioids bind to pain receptors and cut off communication between the pain point and the brain. This allows for the body to have relief from the pain it is experiencing by essentially tricking the brain into not knowing it is there. One of the side effects of opioid medications is a euphoric high that is experienced. The body relaxes and the reward system in the brain is triggered, which can quickly spiral into dependence and addiction.
Safely Using Opioids After Surgery
While there is no 100% safe way to take opioids that ensures no addiction risks, there are some precautions people can take before, during, and after their recovery process after surgery.
- Talk to your doctor before surgery. Make sure you discuss your pain management options with your doctor, including whether or not the doctor believes opioids would be necessary. Also, be open and honest if you’ve struggled with addiction before.
- Take as directed. Follow the dosage as prescribed by your doctor. If you start taking more or run out before your next refill, let your doctor know that you may be becoming dependent.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions for weaning. It is not advised to quit opioids cold turkey after surgery, so make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for safely weaning off of them.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Sometimes, no matter how safely an individual may be using opioids after surgery, addiction may still occur. It is important to seek treatment quickly because opioid addiction can cause a deadly overdose. Depending on the needs, treatment at a luxury drug treatment center is often the best option. This option makes our clients as comfortable as possible while they detox from opioids and receive treatment, all by being surrounded by the comforts and luxury they are used to at home.
About Seasons in Malibu
Opioid addiction knows no bounds, and even the most well-meaning individuals can become addicted to it after surgery. The good news about opioid addiction after surgery is that it is treatable. Reach out and get the help you need now before it turns into a deadly or traumatic overdose.
Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative and client-centered. Our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that in order for the client to heal, the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them. The pressure to “fix” the client can become overwhelming and unrealistic if we do not examine the underlying issues, dynamics and environmental influences that might be contributing to substance abuse or ongoing mental health issues. Whenever practical, we try to include close loved ones in sessions and in the entire process of recovering from addiction and/or addressing mental health issues.
It is a priority for us that our life-changing drug and alcohol treatment be available to the people who need it. We are fully familiar with how much strength and courage it takes to pick up the phone and ask for help. Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around-the-clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction.
With our superior team of clinicians, we are able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus which will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive and committed.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com