photo of a person taking pain killers

Prescription painkillers are potent and dangerous and can impact nearly every part of your body. In addition to the likelihood of overdosing, the abuse of opiates can lead to short- and long-term damage of many of your vital organs.

Here’s what you need to know about how abusing opioids can impact your body.

Your brain: Chronic opiate use has been linked with an increase risk of depression. In fact, those who used painkillers in excess of six months had more than a 50 percent greater chance of developing a depressive episode, according to one study.

Your lungs: Opiates suppress the body’s ability to breathe, interfering with normal lung function and causing shortness of breath. Opiate abuse has also been found to increase a person’s risk of pneumonia.

Your stomach and intestines: At normal doses opiates cause constipation, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that long-term abuse can lead users to rely on laxatives to move their bowels. Narcotic bowel syndrome, which causes nausea, bloating, vomiting, abdominal distention and constipation, is also linked to opiate abuse, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Your liver and kidneys: The high levels of acetaminophen found in common painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab and Percocet can cause liver failure and damage the kidneys, leading to the need for dialysis or transplant.

Your nervous system: Chronic opiate use can lead to hyperalgesia, a syndrome which can create a greater sensitivity to pain.

Your immune system: Prolonged use of opioids can weaken the immune system, increasing your risk of infection. For those who inject the drug, this also means an increased risk of HIV.

Opiate Addiction Treatment for Men

Getting help is the best defense when it comes to stopping the short- and long-term health effects of opiates abuse. At 10 Acre Ranch, we have over two decades of experience helping men who are struggling with a substance abuse disorder, including those addicted to painkillers. To learn more about our prescription drug program for men, call today: 877-228-4679.

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