Opiates, derived from the sap of the opium poppy, are among the earliest drugs discovered by man. Today opiates are frequently prescribed and are viewed as a medical necessity. Chemists construct synthetic forms of opiates called opioids that are commonly used as painkillers. Opiates in any form are addictive and may lead to physical and psychological dependence. The following list describes several important facts about opiate abuse, its consequences and the necessity of seeking treatment as early as possible.
Stress perpetuates opiate abuse. Stress increases vulnerability to opiate abuse and contributes to continued abuse. Stress also plays a key role in incidents of relapse. Learning to cope with stress is vital to long-term opiate addiction recovery. Holistic treatment centers implement stress relieving therapies and techniques such as yoga and meditation into their opiate addiction treatment programs.
Most opiates, with exception of heroin, are legal with a prescription. The National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies synthetic opiates as one of the top three most commonly abused substances along with central nervous system depressants and stimulants. Though legal, opiates are dangerous substances that lead to devastating addiction cycles.
Opiate prescriptions do not necessarily result in drug use. Those who use opiates to get high or to self-medicate for conditions like trauma or depression are more likely to develop opiate addiction than those who follow their doctor’s orders. Carefully following a doctor’s instructions is essential to preventing opiate addiction, but in some cases long-term opiate use may result in dependence, even if users do not intend to misuse the drug. For example those suffering from severe chronic pain such as pain from cancer treatments may develop tolerance and overuse opiates in hopes of finding relief.
Opiate overdoses are common among addicts and often deadly. Overdoses may occur when a user obtains opiates illicitly and is unaware of the grade of the drug he or she receives. Overdoses may also occur when a user develops a high level of tolerance and needs a massive dosage to obtain a state of euphoria or a high. If you fear that someone you know may be at risk for an opiate overdose, please call our toll-free helpline now.
Withdrawal, though severely uncomfortable, is rarely life threatening. Even so medical intervention is necessary when quitting opiates due to the high rates of relapse among those who try to quite alone. Relapsing during withdrawal may result in overdose, but medically supervised detox eases withdrawal symptoms and prevents relapse. Medically supervised detox is available through professional drug addiction treatment centers. Opiate abuse and addiction are serious conditions that require immediate attention to prevent potential health risks and to restore the overall wellbeing of those who suffer from this disease.
Need Help Seeking Treatment for Opiate Abuse?
If you or someone you love suffers from opiate addiction, we can help you break the cycle of abuse. Please call our toll-free helpline today to learn more about opiates, addiction and recovery. All calls are free and confidential, and our lines are open 24 hours a day.