While opioid substances are widely known to be addictive, there are also many alternatives to opioids that have equally as powerful effects on the body. In the same vein, individuals are at a high risk for abusing or developing an addiction to alternatives to opioids. To identify or prevent an addiction, it’s important to first understand what the most common opioid alternatives are, and how they can impact an individual.
What Are Alternatives To Opioids?
Typically, alternatives to opioids contain elements of traditional opioids to deliver similar pain relief. Some of the most common alternatives to opioids include:
- Percocet: A prescription pain reliever that combines Oxycodone (an opioid), and Acetaminophen ( a pain reliever).
- Vicodin: A prescription pain reliever that combines Hydrocodone (an opioid), and Acetaminophen (a pain reliever).
- Norco: A prescription pain reliever that combines Hydrocodone (an opioid), and Acetaminophen (a pain reliever).
Short-Term Effects of Alternatives to Opioids
Opioid alternatives deliver similar short-term effects to opioids, including:
- Drowsiness or sedation
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased breathing rate
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden mood swings
- Dry mouth
- Constricted pupils
Long-Term Effects of Opioid Alternatives
Opioid alternatives are still extremely powerful and addictive substances that can significantly impact the human body. Long-term effects of alternatives to opioids include:
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Urinary retention
- Tolerance/abuse of alternatives to opioids
- Severe constipation
- Physical and psychological dependency
Overdose Symptoms of Alternatives to Opioids
A tolerance or dependency on opioid alternatives means that individuals require progressively larger doses to achieve the same effect. This greatly increases the chance of accidental overdose on alternatives to opioids. Some overdose symptoms include:
- Severe sedation/sleepiness
- Shallow breathing
- Slowed heart rate
- Cold, clammy skin
- Nausea, vomiting or intense abdominal pain
- Blue tint of skin, fingernails, or mouth
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
We understand that facing an addiction to, or abuse of alternatives to opioids can be daunting. But you don’t need to do it alone. Our team is here to help guide you through this process and find the perfect treatment option that meets your needs.
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