When do opioids become a problem?
Opioids become a problem when you take too many. Let’s break this down:
When you feel physical pain, your brain produces endorphins, which are naturally-created pain relievers.
Opioids, in their man-made form, are full of chemicals like endorphins; chemicals created to serve as pain relievers.
When you take too many opioids, you’re adding a significantly larger amount of pain relievers to your body than what it naturally produces and is used to. This creates an “endorphin overload” in your nervous system, which raises a red flag in your body. Your body is left wondering, “What happens next?
So, what DOES happen next? What happens on an ‘endorphin overload’?
Once your nervous system becomes overwhelmed with endorphins, it creates a “rush” or “high” feeling. It also tells your body it wants more. This is when your body has to adjust and opioid use often leads to a habit, cravings, abuse, dependency or addiction, all of which are out of your control.
How else can opioids be harmful?
Opioids also slow down your heart rate and breathing. If you take too many opioids or if you mix opioids with other medications or alcohol, the combination could stop your heart completely, leading to death.