A man experiencing the dangers of using opioids during winter

Dangers of Using Opioids During Winter

Abusing opioids is always dangerous, but it can be even more so during the winter months. At our addiction treatment center, Promises, we offer programs to help you manage a substance use disorder so you can get your life back. Learn more about the dangers of using opioids during winter and how to get help by calling 844.875.5609

Understanding How Opioids Affect Your Body

Opioids are depressants, slowing down your central nervous system. They bind with opioid receptors, activating them and flooding the system with dopamine. This causes euphoria, which leads you to want to use the drug again. 

Opioids cause:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness
  • Pain relief
  • Suppressed awareness and reasoning

Opioids affect many areas of the brain, including the areas that control breathing. This is one of the reasons opioids are so dangerous — if you take too much, your respiratory system can stop, leading to death. 

Opioid Use During Winter

The National Library of Medicine states that more overdose deaths occur from opioid use during winter than during the spring or summer. There are a number of factors that make opioids much more dangerous when it’s cold outside.

Opioid use and the cold can both impact your breathing. It’s always harder to breathe when it’s cold outside because the chilled air causes inflammation, leading the muscles around the airways to constrict and also allowing more mucus to develop. 

When you add opioids, which depress your breathing mechanism, getting enough air is much more difficult. 

Another of the dangers of using opioids during winter is that they can reduce the temperature at which your body begins to shiver. This makes it more difficult to regulate your temperature. 

Cold temperatures can also impact your use of opioids. You may be more isolated during the winter because of weather conditions, putting you at a higher risk of overdosing. You may also experience more boredom or depression, leading you to seek relief by using more drugs. 

The opioid distribution may also be impacted by cold weather, leading you to get drugs that are not as pure as they should be or that contain fentanyl and are, therefore, stronger than you’re used to. 

Facing the Winter: How to Get Help

An opioid addiction can put your life at risk, so getting help is the best thing you can do for yourself. 

The right opioid programs help you go through the detox process with the help of medications that mimic the drug, but without offering the high your body craves. This detox makes it easier to taper off the opioid’s effects without making you go through the dangerous withdrawal process. 

Once you’ve finished the detox treatment, you can choose whether you prefer inpatient or outpatient services. Inpatient programs can be helpful for people who are just starting their recovery process or who don’t have a supportive home environment. By removing yourself from your daily life, you have a chance to focus on healing. 

If you’re not able to participate in inpatient services, you can turn to outpatient programs that allow you to return home each night while still receiving a high level of care during the day. 

Learn More About the dangers of Using Opioids During the Winter at Promises 

At Promises, we offer help for opioid use disorders, including medical detox services, inpatient and outpatient services, and more. We offer individual therapy sessions that help you understand what may have led you to turn to opioids in the first place, and we also provide group sessions so you can see you’re not alone. 

We offer the support and guidance you need to start healing. Call Promises at 844.875.5609 for more information.

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