opiate addiction

Opiate Addiction

The problem with opiate abuse in the United States of America only grows larger with each new day. Doctors are prescribing these drugs to individuals who do not know what they are, let alone their addictive properties. Even the elderly and children are at risk for developing an addiction to these deadly and dangerous drugs because of their easy accessibility. In 2010 alone, over 210 million Americans had a prescription for opiates filled. In the same year, it was reported that over 12 million Americans used opiates without a prescription for them. These amounts combined are enough drugs to give every American a pill a day for a whole month. The problem has been identified, and now we must move to resolve it. Thankfully, treatment can help cure an addiction to opiates; although it may not be the most glamorous or exciting process in the world.

Opiates are drugs derived from the poppy seed plant and a subcategory of opioids. Each year the number of opiate users increases, so does the need for treatment. Opiates were made to have the same effects of morphine and what was created was a drug with euphoric effects only very few others can contest. Along with their effortless accessibility, this is cause for the epidemic sweeping the nation of high amounts of individuals addicted to these drugs. Opiates can be found in prescription drugs, but are also sold for recreational purposes illicitly. Treatment for addiction to opiates is a challenging endeavor, but it is possible with medical, psychological, and clinical approaches guided by the professionals at FHE Health.

Examples of Different Opiates

Opiates are basically any drug that is derived or copied from the sap that is produced from the poppy seed plant. An “opioid” is a naturally derived medication taken from the same plant. So, basically, the difference between opiate and opioid is that one includes the synthetic, or manmade, forms(heroin and morphine). All opioids are used in the treatment and management of pain in prescribed medications. There are multiple forms and administrations of the opiate drugs, but they are all highly addictive. Some of the forms of opiates mostly recognized today and treated by treatment programs include:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl

The Effects of Opiates

Opiates are found on prescription drugs that are used to treat pain in patients that need it. It is very effective in its use, but prolonged use raises the potential for the growth of addiction. The high amount of opiate abusers in our country could be due to the fact that these substances are relatively cheap, easy to find and attain, and extremely addictive. Different opiates produce different effects because each produces a high for a certain amount of time at a certain intensity. For example, opium provides an intense and short-lived high and morphine provides a high that lasts up to 6 hours. Opiates are so addictive that those that use it for even medical reasons can see patterns and behaviors of addiction in just three short days.

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Many people addicted to opiates try to stop using the drug but fail because of ugly withdrawal effects. Administering opiates after dependence has formed will keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay for some time. Many opioid users go from use to control pain or feel euphoric effects to using only to postpone withdrawal. Along with trying to quit and failing, the opioid abuser may show signs of:

  • Intense mood swings
  • Sleeplessness
  • Injection site sores
  • Severe constipation
  • Feelings of itchy skin
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tension
  • Vomiting
  • Heart health issues
  • Respiratory health issues

Medical detox is suggested for anyone attempting to get clean from opiates. Withdrawal symptoms are more severe with opiates than any other class of drugs, so the chance of relapse after detox is high. Additionally, symptoms of withdrawal can be helped with certain medications administered at medical detox centers. FHE Health has a state of the art detox facility that specializes in guided medical detox for any of our opiate addicted patients. You must prepare for a long journey of detox and withdrawal to get clean from opiates in your body. You can expect symptoms of withdrawal from opiates to include:

  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Severe opiate cravings
  • Cold and hot sweats

Do you have an Addiction to Opiates?

Because many people have been prescribed their opiates, they are not aware of the dangers of addiction. In little time they come to realize that they cannot stop taking the drug and try to find it elsewhere when their prescription dries out. Addiction is more than dependence on opiates. It is more about the behavior that comes from your dependence on opiates. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, have experienced negative consequences because of your opiate abuse, or have tried to quit yourself but failed, you may be addicted. Ask yourself the following to determine if you have an addiction to opiates:

  • Have you had to increase your opiate dosage to gain the desired effects?
  • Do you experience any of the listed above withdrawal side effects when you miss a dose or two?
  • Have you tried to quit using opiates but eventually fail and come back to using?
  • Do you take more than prescribed or want to use opiates less?
  • Do you deter from responsibilities on account of your opiate use?
  • Have you experienced negative consequences as a result of your opiate use?
  • Do you catch yourself obsessing over your opiate use?

If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may have an addiction to opiates. Fortunately, with time and determination, you can rid your life of the addiction to opiates and move forward. You don’t have to be a slave to your bottle of opiates forever. With the help and guidance of a treatment program designed just with you in mind at FHE Health, you have a high chance for long-term recovery success!

Opiate Treatment Services

FHE Health understands the devastation that opiate addiction can bring to life, which is why we offer treatment for those that suffer from this ailment. Our highly trained medical, psychological, and clinical professionals have the skills needed to lead you down the path to recovery success. Services included for opiate addiction include medical detox, clinical therapy, outpatient rehabilitation, residential rehabilitation, sober skill education, and sober living options. Kicking opiate addiction does not have to be a task that is solely yours. Let the experts at FHE Health help.

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