Understanding Opiates

Opiates are the most addictive substances in the US. Millions of drugs are written each year, with many people evolving an addiction to their prescribed dosage. Understand the various types of these opiates and drugs, their consequences, and how they are most generally abused and treated.

What Are Opiates?

Opiates comprise controlled prescription substances that originated from Opium, a chemical that arises naturally in poppy seeds. These medications are used clinically to deal with patients with mild to severe pain. Unfortunately, due to their calming effects, Opioids have high rates of abuse which, in several cases, can lead to opiate addiction.

Prescription Opiate Abuse

An addiction to painkillers frequently begins after a person is prescribed the drug for pain after an accident or injury. Patients are provided a prescription and specified dosage from a physician; often, patients have no motive to abuse the drug. Nonetheless, over a while, an individual may feel that the drug is no longer as beneficial as it was in the advent. This feeling results in increased tolerance to the prescribed painkiller, which implies that the substance has accumulated within a person’s body.

Tolerance can result in a person taking doses larger than their proposed amount to attain the desired effects. Rising the medication dose can lead to a physical dependency whereby the user requires to continue taking the medication to feel normal. Full-blown dependence is present when an individual’s drug-seeking behavior scales out of control and starts to compromise their psychological and physical health. Addiction is far more severe than a strong desire to use drugs; it is a neurological disorder that feels fated to the person suffering.

An individual who battles with a SUD frequently wishes to quit but feels incapable of doing so. The only way an individual can fully withstand the grips of dependence on Opioid Painkillers is by taking opiate treatment at an inpatient rehab center.

Symptoms Of Opiate Addiction

In the early phases of an OUD, people are frequently able to suppress their abuse of the substance. However, ultimately, signs and opiate withdrawal symptoms of abuse start manifesting in their lives. While the clear signs of abuse depend on which specific opioid a person is using, some widespread signs of opioid abuse are:

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Insulating oneself from family members or friends
  • Lying about pain to obtain prescriptions for opioids
  • Bad performance at work
  • Unexplained duration of absence
  • Making appointments with numerous different doctors to get multiple prescriptions for opioids
  • Stealing drugs from others

Physical Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Apparent changes in personal appearance, like weight loss or modifications in hygiene
  • Bad motor skills and coordination
  • Digestive difficulties, like vomiting or diarrhea
  • Sores, scabs, or puncture injures
  • Pupil constriction

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Hindered thinking
  • Feeling detached from surroundings
  • Impaired judgment and problem-solving
  • Problem concentrating

Psychosocial Symptoms

  • Paranoia
  • Emotional swings
  • Irritability
  • Sudden, unprovoked outbursts
  • Depression

Opiate Effects And Abuse

Opiates generate euphoric effects when taken in quantities that are larger than prescribed. The pleasant, carefree emotions a person encounters when taking these medications are often what leads to destructive habits of abuse. Opiate dependence is frequently characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. For instance, to attain more of the drug, a person may go to multiple physicians to get new prescription opiates.

The pathological desire to use these drugs can also steer people to borrow or steal the drugs from family and friends. In one survey, ninety-four percent of respondents said they prefer to use Heroin over painkillers because it was inexpensive and easier to get.

Opiate Overdose

A ravaging yet all-too-common effect of opioid painkiller abuse is an overdose. It commonly results in taking too much of a substance at any provided time or by incorporating multiple substances, especially other CNS (Central Nervous System) Depressants like alcohol and Benzodiazepines. People can overdose on painkillers, but the hazard is much greater for those who use other substances consecutively. Widespread examples of polydrug abuse are blending drugs with alcohol or another kind of prescription drug, like Benzodiazepines.

The symptoms of opiates overdose related to taking these drugs are:

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Shallow, restricted breathing
  • Extreme sleepiness

For numerous people, surviving an overdose was the descriptive moment that enabled them to seek treatment. Nonetheless, some people are reluctant to enter rehabilitation shortly after encountering an overdose. People will frequently wake up from an overdose and instantly use it again. In addition, it is common to feel ashamed about the struggle with substance use from others during treatment. The truth is that the people you will confront in rehabilitation support you in taking help rather than evaluate you for succumbing to drug abuse.

Treatment For Opiate Addiction

There are numerous opiate addiction treatment options to select from, but research indicates the most beneficial treatment for opiate addiction is inpatient detoxification followed by inpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehabilitation centers have specialized programs for people suffering from this kind of SUD. These programs help patients examine deep within themselves to uncover the root reason for drug use. Understanding what caused patients to abuse alcohol or drugs first will help deter future triggers while healing.

Many people quickly find that the rewards of advancing through a treatment program far surpass the “high” they recently gained from drug use. Beneficial forms of therapy used during medication often comprise cognitive behavioral therapy, group and individual counseling, and 12-step programs.


Talk to a treatment provider for more data about several treatment options. The worst of withdrawal could be avoidable if treatment modalities like the type offered by rehabilitations are used; possibly, more importantly, an extremely fatal and tragic overdose may be deterred if action is taken before it happens.

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