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Codeine, Morphine, Methadone, Pain Medication

Opioids attaches to pain receptors in the brain, releasing signals of pain relief and boosting the feelings of pleasure. Chronic users commonly become tolerant to their initial doses, requiring higher and higher doses for the same desired effect.

Signs and Symptoms

Initial stages of opioid addiction might be difficult to show definite signs. You might notice certain behaviour or mood changes.

DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition), describes substance abuse disorder having 2 of a possible 11 symptoms manifesting in a 12 month period.

These symptoms include:

1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you're meant to.
2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.
3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.
4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.
5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.
6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.
7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.
8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.
9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.
10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).
11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Methods of Use

> Injected
> Smoked
> Orally

Adverse Effects

> Lethargy
> Drowsiness
> Confusion
> Dizziness
> Changes in vision
> Headache
> Seizures
> Difficulty breathing
> Nausea and vomiting
> Constipation

Overdose Potential

Opioids have a high risk in fatal overdose as it can cause respiratory depression. Combining opioids with other sedative medication and alcohol increases the risk in fatality.


Withdrawal symptoms can start within a few hours after last use and could possibly last for more than a week. It is not life-threatening but could be emotionally and physically uncomfortable.

Withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

> Cravings
> Agitation or irritibility
> Runny nose
> Trouble sleeping
> Excessive sweating
> Chills
> Digestive problems


> Self-help organizations – Talking with others who also have a disorder have been proven to be very effective.
> Therapy – Behaviour therapy or cognitive behaviour therapy is a proven evidence based therapy teaching skills to reduce the urges. Find a licensed practitioner.
> Medications – Studies suggest that some medication may be effective for the treatment of gambling addiction. Speak to a psychiatrist specialised in addiction treatment for an evaluation and recommendations.
> Treatment programs – Many in-treatment and outpatient programs can assist with a gambling disorder.

Why choose PRC Recovery?

We are a registered treatment centre specialising in the treatment of addictive disorders. Our individualised approach to treating addiction is based on international standards and includes the many proven modalities in the treatment of addiction.

​Key focus areas for an effective program:

> Family involvement – family participation in the treatment of any addiction is vital.
> Individualised approach – underlying issues prolonging any addiction is based on the individual and therefore individual treatment plans are an important component to effective treatment of addiction by a qualified professional counsellor.
> 12 step program – Twelve step programs have proven highly effective in the treatment of addiction and starts forming the solid foundation in early recovery. It is also used as the platform to the introduction of self-help organisations, forming part of the aftercare.
> Aftercare – Stopping the addiction is only the foundation phase in the treatment of addiction. A well thought-out aftercare plan is crucial to sustain long-term recovery.


Understanding Opioids (Pain Medication) Abuse

Opioid addiction is a complex and pervasive issue affecting individuals globally. The misuse of prescription painkillers, as well as illicit opioids like heroin, has led to a widespread public health concern. Understanding the profound impact of opioid addiction on individuals and society is crucial for developing effective strategies for prevention, intervention, and recovery.

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