Doctor explains to a patient the connection between opioid use and constipation

What Is the Link Between Opioid Use and Constipation?

You may not think that opioid use and constipation have much in common, but there is a strong link between the two. Opioid use can cause constipation, and constipation can be a sign of opioid addiction.

If you or someone you care about is taking opioids for a medical purpose, it’s essential to be aware of the physical side effects of using drugs like this. However, if an addiction to opioids is involved, you must seek professional help immediately. Promises Brazos Valley offers opioid addiction treatment programs in Texas, including inpatient drug rehab for those that need 24-hour care and support. Call 979.426.0086 to speak with someone from our knowledgeable staff about the link between constipation and opioid use, our addiction treatment programs, and how we can help you or your loved one get on the road to recovery.

What Are the Physical Side Effects of Opioid Use?

Opioids are a type of drug that can be used for pain relief. They bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord and block pain signals from reaching the brain. A doctor can prescribe opioids, but people can also obtain them illegally. Some examples of opioids include heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Opioids are highly addictive and can have several adverse side effects on your health. In addition to constipation, opioids can cause:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Slowed breathing
  • Vomiting

Opioid addiction can also lead to overdose and death.

Why Are Opioid Use and Constipation Often Connected?

Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a condition that can occur when someone takes opioid medications for a prolonged period. Opioid use and constipation are often connected because opioids slow down food movement in your digestive system. This slowdown can lead to dehydration and stool hardening, making bowel movements difficult or impossible. In fact, part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in most opioid addiction treatment programs is giving patients medication for constipation, like Imodium or Dulcolax.

The longer you use opioids, even if it’s for a medical purpose, the more likely you will experience constipation.

How Can You Avoid Constipation and Opioid Use That Leads to Addiction?

In general, opioid use should be brief and closely monitored by a medical professional to avoid OIC and opioid addiction. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to opioids, it’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Many treatment options can help you overcome your addiction and avoid the physical side effects of opioid use, including OIC.

If you or someone you care about is taking opioids for a medical purpose, It’s also vital to be aware of these physical side effects so you can take steps to avoid them. For example, OIC can be avoided by taking appropriate medications, as well as:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Eating a high-fiber diet
  • Exercising regularly

It would also help to talk to your primary physician about OIC or opioid dependency issues. They can help you find ways to avoid constipation or opioid addiction. And if opioid addiction has developed, they can refer you to a rehab center.

Find Opioid Addiction Treatment in Texas at Promises Brazos Valley

Promises Brazos Valley is an accredited addiction treatment center in Texas. We offer various evidence-based treatment options for people struggling with addiction, including MAT, detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, and 12-step programs. We also provide family counseling and support groups so that you can get the help you need to recover from addiction.

Contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 to learn more about the connection between opioid use and constipation, our opioid addiction treatment programs, or how to schedule a free consultation with one of our rehab specialists.

Scroll to Top