Opioid Addiction Facts

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In recent years, it has become clear that the United States is suffering from a massive opioid epidemic. In 2018, there were 1,282 deaths due to opioid overdose in Florida alone. While we may be aware of the crisis, many of us are unaware of some of the basic facts about opioids and their addiction. Here the experts at Fifth Street Counseling Center explore those facts and how to get help.

Opioid Basics

Naturally occurring in the poppy plant, opioids have been used as a treatment for hundreds of years. When used correctly, prescribed opioids can be a beneficial treatment for those suffering from constant or extreme pain. However, due to their relaxing nature, they can be highly addictive.

How Opioids Work

Opioids attach to the receptors on the cells in your brain, spinal cord, and organs. As your body sends pain messages to these areas, the opioids block this pain. Taking opioids also releases dopamine that often makes your body feel a sense of euphoria.

Types Of Opioids

Though many opioids, such as OxyContin or Percocet and their generic versions, remain more popular than others, there are several types of opioids available legally and illegally.

Commonly prescribed opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone

It is crucial not to forget that heroin is also a highly addictive opioid, though it is never prescribed as a medicine, as it is illegal.

What Is Opioid Addiction?

Recognizing the signs of opioid abuse or misuse can be difficult. In the simplest terms, abuse or misuse is taking opioids in any other way than their intended purpose.

Some signs of misuse include:

  • Any heroin use
  • Mixing with alcohol or drugs
  • Taking more opioids
  • Taking opioids more often
  • Taking opioids to get high
  • Sharing with friends or family

Health Effects

While blocking pain and increasing euphoria can be useful for those prescribed opioids, extreme or prolonged use can cause lasting and harmful problems.

These issues include:

Short-Term Effects

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Shallow breathing

Long-Term Effects

The most apparent long-term effects people suffer from while using opioids are addiction and dependence. As addicts build up their tolerance, it can make withdrawal symptoms more extreme.

Some signs of opioid withdrawal include:

  • Cold flashes
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting

Seeking Treatment

The hardest step to take for fighting opioid addiction is the first step. While there is no quick fix for addiction, a combination of counseling and medication are essential for a healthy recovery. At Fifth Street Counseling Center, we offer both an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and a Vivitrol® program.


Our main goal is to help you gain the skills not only to overcome your addiction but also to transition back into a healthy, opioid-free lifestyle.

One aspect that makes our IOP a thriving and accessible source of treatment is that it allows those in recovery to maintain their daily lives. In Phase One, you will meet in small groups and one-on-one with our expert counselors three evenings a week for six weeks. Then you will meet with our counselors to determine how many more phases you will need for recovery. We accept several health insurance and employee benefit plans, including Medicaid and commercial plans. We also offer reduced fees and scholarships on a limited basis.


Many are unable to recover with IOP alone and also undergo our Vivitrol® program.

After a full detox, eligible clients can receive the extended-release, non-habit-forming injection once a month at no cost! Vivitrol® has shown to stop dependence and prevent relapse in those with opioid addiction when they pair it with our IOP. Our clients also appreciate that they can receive the injections from licensed practitioners right at our Fifth Street Counseling Centers. We also accept recommendations from family and friends seeking out recovery options.

Getting Help For Drug Addiction In Broward County

Knowing the facts about opioid addiction is essential to recognize the signs in your family, loved ones, and even yourself. If you are ready to take the first step to recover from an addiction to opioids, call Fifth Street Counseling Center at (954)-797-5222 today!

We accept Medicaid and all major insurance and we offer affordable self-pay rates.

Opioid Facts Infographic

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Garry Smith

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