What are the mental status and physiological effects of intoxication in opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Mental status effects include euphoria, sedation, decreased anxiety, a sense of tranquility, and indifference to pain produced by mild-to-moderate intoxication. Severe intoxication can lead to delirium and coma.

Physiological effects include the following:

  • Respiratory depression (may occur while the patient maintains consciousness)

  • Alterations in temperature regulations

  • Hypovolemia (true as well as relative), leading to hypotension

  • Miosis

  • Needle marks or soft tissue infection

  • Increase sphincter tone (can lead to urinary retention)

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