Opioid addiction

Where the path to addiction is paved with well-intentioned prescriptions and innocent experimentation, the thin line between pain relief and dependence is blurring. Beneath the promise of numbness and comfort, addiction to opioids has become an increasingly alarming threat.


Opioid addiction - pills

What are opioids?

Opioids belong to a potent class of pain-relieving drugs that act on the nervous system to alleviate pain. Derived from the opium poppy plant or chemically crafted to emulate its compounds, opioids possess a remarkable capacity to engage specialised receptors within the brain, spinal cord, and throughout the body. This intricate interaction initiates a cascade of responses, bringing forth not only relief from pain but also a gentle embrace of sedation and a euphoric state of being.

These drugs can be classified into three main categories:

Morphine button

Morphine addiction

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Morphine addiction →

Codeine button

Codeine addiction

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Codeine addiction →

Vicodin addiction

Vicodin addiction

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Vicodin addiction →

Dihydrocodeine addiction

Dihydrocodeine addiction

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Dihydrocodeine addiction →

Buprenorphine addiction

Buprenorphine addiction

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Buprenorphine addiction →

Oxycodone addiction

Oxycodone addiction

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Oxycodone addiction      →

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Fentanyl addiction

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Fentanyl addiction →

Methadone addiction


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Methadone addiction →

Tramadol addiction

Tramadol addiction

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Tramadol addiction →


What is opioid addiction?

Opioid addiction is a compulsive and uncontrollable reliance on opioids, making those who are addicted to opioids experience a profound physical and psychological dependence on these drugs and leading to a cycle of compulsive drug use.

Repeat use of opioids can alter the brain’s reward system and neurotransmitter function, creating a powerful craving for the drug. Over time, tolerance develops, necessitating higher doses to achieve the desired effects. Prolonged use of opioids can lead to addiction, where the body adapts to the presence of the drug and experiences withdrawal symptoms when its use is reduced or stopped.

Opioid addiction symptoms

Opioid addiction can manifest through a multitude of symptoms, reflecting the complex nature of this condition. The intensity and presentation of these symptoms may vary among individuals depending on factors such as dosage, the type of opioid and timeline of usage.

Opioid addiction symptoms can include:

  • Cravings: Individuals struggling with opioid addiction often experience intense and compulsive cravings for opioids. These cravings can be overwhelming and persistent, driving a relentless urge to seek and use the drug.
  • Physical dependence and tolerance: Prolonged opioid use can lead to physical dependence and tolerance, where the body adapts to the drug’s presence and requires it for normal functioning and requires higher doses of opioids to achieve the desired effects.
  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships: Opioid addiction can lead to a significant decline in an individual’s ability to fulfil their obligations at work, school, or home. They may neglect responsibilities, exhibit poor performance, or become unreliable. Relationships with family, friends, and colleagues may suffer as the individual’s focus shifts primarily towards obtaining and using opioids.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When opioid use is reduced or discontinued, individuals with addiction may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, diarrhoea, and insomnia. These symptoms can be distressing and contribute to continued drug use to avoid withdrawal.
  • Social and behavioural changes: Opioid addiction can bring about noticeable changes in a person’s behaviour. They may isolate themselves from loved ones, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and exhibit secretive behaviour.
  • Financial difficulties: Sustaining an opioid addiction can be financially burdensome. Individuals may spend a significant portion of their income on acquiring opioids, leading to financial instability, unpaid bills, borrowing money, or resorting to illegal activities to fund their drug use.


Opioid addiction - man with insomnia


Opioid addiction treatment

It is important to approach the addiction of opioids as a serious medical condition rather than a moral failing. Effective treatment for opioid addiction typically involves a combination of rehab and detox, where you can fully address the underlying issues that result in the need for reliance on opioids.

Opioid detox

Opioid detox is a critical first step on the path to recovery from opioid addiction. It is a process that involves safely removing opioids from the body.

During opioid detox, the body begins to adjust to the absence of opioids, which can lead to a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on factors such as the type of opioid used, the duration of use, and individual factors. It is recommended to have medical professionals oversee the detox process, enabling a supportive environment to ease the discomfort of withdrawal.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Flu-like symptoms: Individuals may experience symptoms resembling severe flu, including muscle aches, sweating, chills, and fever.
  • Gastrointestinal distress: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps are common symptoms experienced during opioid withdrawal.
  • Psychological symptoms: Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, agitation, and insomnia are often observed during opioid withdrawal.
  • Intense cravings: Cravings for opioids can be overwhelming and persistent during detox, making it challenging for individuals to resist the urge to use the drug.
  • Physical discomfort: Restlessness, tremors and a general sense of unease are frequently felt during withdrawal.
  • Changes in vital signs: Blood pressure and heart rate can fluctuate during opioid detox.

While detox is an essential step, it is important to recognise that it is not a standalone treatment for opioid addiction. Following detox, individuals are encouraged to engage in comprehensive rehab addiction treatment to facilitate long-term recovery.

Opioid Rehab

After completing the detox process, the next step is opioid rehab. Rehabilitation offers a life-changing chance to heal by delving into the root causes of your addiction and equipping you with the necessary skills and tools to live a life free from opioid addiction.

At Oasis Bradford, our dedicated team of qualified mental health professionals will guide you through your therapy sessions and help you shed negative behaviours. Our therapists utilise various evidence-based therapies to address the complex aspects of opioid addiction.

Examples of the therapies provided at Oasis Bradford include:

  • Dialectical behaviour Therapy (DBT): A powerful therapeutic approach that seamlessly integrates cognitive-behavioural therapy with mindfulness techniques. By combining these elements, DBT places a strong emphasis on cultivating healthy coping strategies and enhancing emotional regulation skills. Through engaging in DBT, you will gain the invaluable tools to identify and transform negative thought patterns, effectively manage intense emotions, and ultimately rely less on opioids.
  • 12-Step programme: Our programme incorporates the principles of the renowned 12-Step approach. This structured framework fosters self-reflection, personal growth, and accountability. It empowers individuals to take ownership of their recovery process and provides a roadmap for navigating the challenges of opioid addiction.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy provides a supportive environment where individuals struggling with opioid addiction can share their experiences, gain insight from others, and receive support from peers who can relate to their challenges. Group therapy fosters a sense of community and reduces feelings of isolation.
  • Holistic therapies: Holistic therapies encompass a diverse range of alternative and complementary approaches that consider the mind, body, and spirit as interconnected aspects of overall well-being. These therapies, such as art therapy, music therapy, yoga and acupuncture, provide individuals in opioid addiction recovery with additional tools to promote stress reduction and emotional healing.
  • Family therapy: Opioid addiction affects not only the individual but also their loved ones. Family therapy involves sessions where family members participate in the recovery process, address communication patterns, and rebuild trust.

These are just a few examples of the therapy options available at Oasis Bradford. By participating in these therapies, you will not only address the underlying causes of addiction but also build a strong foundation for a brighter future.


Opioid addiction - group therapy

Help for opioid addiction at Oasis Bradford

At Oasis Bradford, your recovery is our utmost priority, and we are dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for your healing journey from opioid addiction. Contact us today to take the first step towards a brighter future and embark on your path to recovery.