Opioid Rehab OC Explains What Opioid Addiction Feels Like

What Opioid Addiction Feels Like and Why Opioid Rehab Can Save Your Life

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Recent research finds that more people are dying from heroin (1) and fentanyl overdoses in Orange County than they are in other parts of California. Additionally, the opioid overdose death rate for Orange County is higher than the entire state of California. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, you’re not alone. That’s why opioid rehab OC facilities exist and help you regain control of your life.

Opioid Addiction Orange County: What the Numbers Say

Drug overdose causes more unintentional injury deaths (2) in the United States than any other unintentional injury deaths, including motor vehicle accidents. Studies indicate (3) that opioids are responsible for most of those deaths. Whether its prescription opioid painkillers, heroin or other opioids, the abuse of opioids lead to significant overdoses and deaths. Opioid rehab OC facilities find it is important to help address the issue as the statistics in Orange County alone are staggering.

Recent report numbers indicate (4) that since 2005, the rate of opioid-related emergency room visits has jumped 141%. Between 2011 and 2015, 7,457 opioid abuse/overdose cases were treated in the emergency room in Orange County. Sadly, seven of every ten overdose deaths the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner investigated during 2011-2015 involved opioids.

Nearly 1.5 million opioid prescriptions alone (5) were dispensed to residents of Orange County in 2018. Prescription opioids are responsible for almost half of the documented overdose deaths in Orange County. And, while that 1.5 million is a drop from the average 1.7 million prescriptions dispensed to Orange County residents from 2015-2017, there’s been an increase in heroin and fentanyl-related deaths. It’s an epidemic opioid rehab OC facilities battle daily, and they do so to help you take your life back from addiction.

What Opioid Addiction Feels Like

If you’re struggling with opioid dependence, you know there are intense feelings that come along with it. Emotionally and physically, your body undergoes a transformation. Many who those struggling with addiction can’t believe it’s even happening to them. The stigma of opioid addiction is not one that just attaches itself to a particular stereotypical group. In Orange County alone, the highest percentage of opioid-related deaths occurs in the 45-54-year-old age range, followed by the 55-64-year-old age range. Opioid addiction affects people from all walks of life; doctors (6), teachers, lawyers (7) and biochemists (8) alike find themselves addicted to opioids. They’re not entirely sure of how their lives were turned upside down.

Physical Changes

From a physical aspect, opioid addiction feels like the bad flu that won’t go away unless it’s fed with more opioids. You often feel nauseated or like you need to vomit (9). You may also suffer from severe constipation as a side effect of the opiates. Your breathing may be more shallow or slower, and according to the Cleveland Clinic (10), you may end up in respiratory depression and have trouble breathing. Additionally, you may find yourself exhausted but unable to sleep. You may feel like you have a terrible headache that you just can’t shake unless you consume more opioids.

And when it comes to physical anatomy, opioid dependence can change the entire structure of your brain. Research (11) suggests that dependence upon opioids is associated with functional and structural changes in your brain in specific regions. These regions regulate your impulse control, your reward center, and motivational functions. (12) Because the physical anatomy of your brain has been restructured, you may be just as surprised as anyone else (13) to find yourself dependent upon opioids.

Emotional Changes

That’s often where opioid addiction feels the worst—when it affects your self-esteem, and in turn, your relationships. Aside from the financial and status losses that occur when your opioid dependence becomes too much, you also face the loss of meaningful personal relationships.

The American Medical Association (14) views opioid dependence and addiction as an issue that affects whole families, and often your friend network as well. You may feel shame and guilt about not being able to stop using it. Perhaps your family can’t understand that it’s not just a matter of your willpower that you’re dealing with when it comes to quitting. You may find it exhausting to try and keep up appearances and prevent people from finding out, and you may fear what will happen when they do.

Perhaps you’re dealing with repercussions you’ve already incurred as you’ve damaged the trust aspect of relationships you hold dear. This can lead you to experience more depression and mood swings. You may start to seek relief in the form of more opioids. It’s a vicious cycle that you feel like you’re never going to be able to break.

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Opioid Rehab OC Explains What Opioid Addiction Feels Like

Ocean Hills Recovery: An Opioid Rehab OC Treatment Center That Cares

If you suffer from opioid dependence or addiction, you’re not alone. The good news is that you don’t have to battle it alone either. Our compassionate care team at Ocean Hills Recovery specializes in Collaborative Care to help you overcome your addiction. Collaborative Care combines bio-psycho-social treatments with a 12-step recovery program to help you break the chains of dependence and addiction.

Ocean Hills Recovery is a premier opioid rehab OC treatment center located in beautiful Dana Point, California. Our staff has experience in walking the road to rehabilitation. We’ve helped many others pick up pieces of their lives destroyed by addiction and we’ll help you find yourself again. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will help you make a fresh start again. We offer after-care programs and family support because we know that long-term sobriety will require continued support.

You don’t have to feel alone any longer. Ocean Hills Recovery will empower you to take your life back and let the healing and recovery process you deserve to begin. If you’re ready to kick your addiction and get back to living, make the call. We’re waiting to walk beside you every step of the way.



(1) http://www.ochealthinfo.com/bhs/about/pi/optr
(2) https://www.ocregister.com/2019/12/03/opioid-death-rate-in-orange-county-eclipses-other-southern-california-counties/
(3) https://voiceofoc.org/2018/08/opioid-addiction-a-senior-problem-in-orange-county/
(4) http://www.ochealthinfo.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=67355
(5) http://www.ochealthinfo.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=106463
(6) https://www.healthline.com/health/doctor-addicted-opioids#7
(7) https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/Fulltext/2016/02000/The_Prevalence_of_Substance_Use_and_Other_Mental.8.aspx
(8) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-it-feels-like-to-be-an-opioid-addict_b_596fbfd0e4b0aa14ea76d8c4?fbclid=IwAR18j90w6CWe8lw2Vq6G5QRc4DAR7Z3iaIQ0w6-9tARcalWtZgWEvotKBIc&guccounter=2&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9hcHAuYXNhbmEuY29tLzAvNjkyMTM5MTU5MjExNzkwLzExNjA1NzM1Mjk1OTg2NzI&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAI46Pmot5EpoR2uuNf0RQvsKMEPOqZVYV1YsMH6n9hQ_DBuEycRp9ZDfrj36GhdG0Wl9lMQ6jhHy-sCwWfWTkpowdtqbBgj2Sawho4K9fVol7b_1V00DNP85o_FbsP9J3OkDl9uEMdxHZMsbOYAgV-bSs1hfXwsZSkN3yGceZzj7
(9) https://familydoctor.org/condition/opioid-addiction/
(10) https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21127-opioids
(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851054/
(12) https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/133/7/2098/328543
(13) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/919087
(14) https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/opioid-use-disorder-treat-family-not-just-patient

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