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Opioids and Sleep Apnea

Opioid abuse can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common problem that can make sleeping uncomfortable and even dangerous if left untreated. Whether Anchorage residents are prescribed opioids to manage pain, or even if they abuse opioids, they should consider how their opioid consumption relates to sleep apnea. Studies have shown that opioids can worsen symptoms of sleep disorders, which leads to even higher risks. Fortunately, there are several types of treatment available for sleep apnea, but if you abuse opioids the first thing you should do is put an end to your drug abuse. Opioid abuse causes other problems in your life aside from sleep apnea, so, even if your apnea cannot be cured, cutting out opioid abuse will reduce your symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Basics

There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive and central, with obstructive sleep apnea being the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea affects 20% of American adults, so it is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from it, and between 75 and 85 percent of these cases being undiagnosed. This condition makes people breathe irregularly throughout the night, which means their sleep is not as restive as it can be. Anchorage residents with this problem need professional help to recover.

How Are Opioids and Sleep Apnea Related?

Opioids make users drowsy, so it would seem like they help users sleep and minimize any symptoms related to sleep disorders, but such is not the case. These drugs decrease activity in the upper airway, and they also make it more likely that the upper airway will collapse. Opioids can also cause respiratory depression, or slower breathing, which can be dangerous, since people with sleep apnea may already be in need of more oxygen. At low doses, opioids may not affect sleep apnea, but studies have shown that at high doses opioids can exacerbate sleep apnea. If you or an Anchorage loved one abuse opioids, it probably contributes to your sleep apnea, which means that, as long as she continues abusing opioids, it will be more difficult to treat sleep issues. Ending your opioid abuse will make it much easier for you to heal from your sleep disorder.

Anchorage Opioid Addicts with Sleep Apnea

If you live in Anchorage and are addicted to opioids, quitting is not as simple as making the decision and following through with sobriety. Without professional addiction treatment, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a full recovery. If you would like to learn more about opioid addiction and addiction treatment, call our toll-free helpline today to speak with our admissions coordinators about what you are going through. Our staff can also help you locate treatment for sleep problems, so you can recover from your addiction and begin managing your sleep apnea at the same time. Call now for instant support.