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What Opioids Do To Your Brain

Overcoming an addiction to opioids can be extremely difficult to do on your own. That’s why our experienced addiction treatment specialist Richard E. Repass, MD, offers comprehensive therapeutic services that focus directly on your recovery from powerful opioid drugs.

To begin your fight back to a healthier, happier life, you should understand the impact opioids have on your brain and your long-term health. 

When you’re ready to begin recovery, Dr. Repass and our team at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment are here for you and provide both a safe detoxification process and treatment services using BR+NAD™ infusions to treat your opioid addiction.

Understanding opioids

Opioids are powerful painkillers often prescribed to treat severe and chronic pain. Opioids work by attaching to receptors in your brain to block pain signals.

Some opioids are derived from plants, while others are made in a medical lab. Common examples of opioids include:

Heroin is also a type of opioid drug made from morphine, a byproduct of the opium poppy seed plant. Heroin acts like prescription opioid drugs, and people with an addiction to pain pills often transition to heroin to achieve the same type of high for less cost.

The impact of opioids on your brain

While opioids can provide effective pain relief when you use them correctly, many misuse the drugs by taking too much of the medication or by taking multiple opioids at the same time.

In addition to blocking pain signals, opioids target your body’s natural reward system and cause your brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in your feelings of pleasure and other emotions.

Many people experience a deep sense of calm and relaxation after taking opioids. The drugs have an antidepressant effect and can make you feel happy. This side effect is why many people take more opioids than prescribed, which leads to an addiction.

Opioids also have a calming effect on your breathing and cause your breathing to slow down. Taking too many opioids can pose a serious risk to your health. If you’re breathing slows down too much, it can lead to long-term health issues and premature death.

Why opioids are hard to quit

Those who misuse opioids typically need to continually increase their dosage to achieve the same effect over time. As you become addicted to the feelings opioids produce, it becomes more difficult to stop taking the drugs due to the severity of withdrawal side effects.

To help you avoid cravings and safely detox, Dr. Repass uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a substance naturally found in your body. NAD helps your cells produce energy, and with regular opioid use, the NAD levels in your brain decline.

Infusions of NAD into your body stabilize your brain’s NAD levels to reduce cravings, improve your overall mood, and help you withdraw from opioids without extreme discomfort.

You can successfully overcome an addiction to opioids. Start your journey to recovery now by calling us at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment or by requesting a consultation online today. 

You can also use our telemedicine services if you’re not able to travel to our Mercer Island, Washington, office for help.

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