Opiate Myths

Opiate users are opiate addicts

This perpetuation of this myth is, you could say, well-intended. America is becoming more aware of the danger of opiate medications, leading to a growing stigma surrounding them. However, it’s important that the public understands that opiate medications, like prescription painkillers, themselves aren’t bad; that no medication can be characterized as bad or good; that safety depends on dosage, no matter what kind of drug—legal or illegal—is being used. Dependence is a normal part of opiate medication treatment, which is why patients are supposed to follow strict schedules. Addiction is marked by a pattern of increasing your dosage again and again to account for rising drug tolerance. The line between dependence and addiction is thin, but that’s the most important factor to consider. People don’t wind up addicts because they chose to abuse opiates out of the blue. Most fall into the cycle gradually.

Opiate addicts are junkies

Another myth which blocks progress in the addiction field is that most opiate addicts are young adults looking to get high. As previously stated, the vast majority of opiate addicts don’t get started that way; they start legally, for the purpose of treating pain. This begs the question of who receives the most pain pills. It’s not young junkies, it’s senior citizens, desperate for pain management but with limited insurance for more effective relief like physical therapy or surgery. Opiate addiction doesn’t discriminate; all ages are susceptible.

Methadone is just trading one addiction for another

Again, this brings up the issue of oversimplifying things. Methadone may be “just another pill,” but it’s much safer than opiates, with none of the euphoric effects. It also does a good job preventing withdrawal symptoms. Indeed, for some people, certain opiate-blocking drugs will create more problems than they solve, but even those prove helpful for millions of people. The decision whether or not to undergo one of these treatments should depend on several factors including the recovering person’s history of prescription medication use, their physician’s opinion on the matter, and an extensive risk-benefit analysis.

Oceanfront Recovery is a men’s addiction treatment program providing residential services for detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, and transitional programming. We believe that when you change your story, you can change your life. If you are struggling with opiate addiction, there is help available. Call us today for information on our programs in Orange County, California: 877.279.1777