Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Opiates are extremely addictive and come from opium, which is derived from the poppy plant. Opiates cover a variety of drugs. Some are natural, synthetic, legal, illegal, recreational, or medicinal. Natural opiate drugs have been used to treat nervous disorders, cancers, and other conditions.
Most painkillers are opiates and are prescribed for pain relief, but often used illegally to get high. People who suffer with an opiate addiction will usually take more than the required dose to achieve the intense euphoric effects. This increases the risk of serious health problems.
Synthetic or manmade opiates have similar effects but can be used as an option for opiate addiction treatment. Some common opiates are opium, heroin, OxyContin, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and methadone. Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs and a person can become addicted after just one use.
Any long-term use of drugs increases the risk of addiction, even prescription drugs. Opiate tolerance triggers the vicious cycle of addiction. According to WebMD (2018), you may have an opioid use disorder if you:

  • Are using more of the drugs or using them longer than you intended
  • Can’t control use
  • Have a strong desire or urge to use
  • Use despite legal or social problems
  • Stop or cut down important activities
  • Use while doing something dangerous, like driving
  • Use despite physical or mental health conditions
  • Become tolerant – need more of the drug or need to take it more often
  • Experience withdrawal

Addiction is a different experience for everyone and so is detox and recovery. A person going to treatment for opiate addiction needs to state how long he or she has been using, when the last time the drug was taken, and the source of the supply. Sometimes medication such as methadone or buprenorphine is used to lessen the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
If you or a loved one is suffering with an opiate use disorder or addiction, get help today. Addiction is isolating, but you are not alone. Make today the first step toward recovery.

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