Opiate addiction is an insidious problem that has plagued society for centuries, but perhaps never more so than today. A two-edged sword, opiates can heal or destroy.
An opiate is any drug derived from the opium poppy plant. The main opiates are morphine, heroin, and codeine. Thebaine and papaverine are also opiates. More commonly we see opiates in their synthetic forms: oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Darvon, Demerol, and Methadone are other synthetic opiates. The majority of these drugs are used medically for pain management.
Opiates are particularly effective in suppressing pain and reducing anxiety. In sufficiently high doses, they can produce a euphoric state. For this reason, they are often used as recreational drugs. Psychological and physical dependence leading to addiction is common in frequent opiate users. The body quickly adjusts to the use of opiates such that increasingly larger doses are needed to produce the same euphoric effect. Overdosing, sometimes resulting in fatal respiratory failure, occurs when addicts take more than their body can handle.
Most opiates can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected. Intravenous injection is the preferred method of longtime addicts as this method produces the quickest, most intense high. It is also a method accompanied by increased risk of infectious disease.
Physically, the effects of opiates include dry mouth; muscle spasticity; slow, shallow or labored breathing; pupil dilation; stomach and intestinal spasms; constipation; low blood pressure; and diminished mental capacity, drowsiness, and disorientation. A common behavior of the opiate addict is the nodding in and out of consciousness.
Opiate addicts are emotionally detached. Thus, dependents of addicts are often neglected and sometimes abused. Addicts have a difficult time reporting regularly to jobs and even keeping them. Since they cannot function without the drug, looking for it, paying for it, using it, and enjoying its effects become first and foremost in their priority. Other needs are a poor second. Since funds are usually not commensurate to the need and desire, stealing and other criminal behavior are often parts of the addict’s lifestyle.
Withdrawal from addiction to opiates can include hot and cold flashes, goose bumps, extreme restlessness, anxiety, muscle spasms, tremors, muscle and bone ache, insomnia, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Fortunately, there are many opiate dependency treatment programs available. Before anything else, detoxification is needed. In the opiate addiction detox center, a longtime user can begin the process of eliminating the toxins from one’s body in a regulated environment where medical practitioners are available to monitor any adverse effects of withdrawal.
Some opiate addiction rehab centers administer medications such as methadone or buprenorphine to ease the pain of withdrawal. After the physical cleansing, the tough work of self-transformation begins. Opiate addiction rehabs offer counseling and behavior modification strategies and techniques to enable the recovering patient to sustain a drug-free lifestyle long after he’s left the opiate addiction rehab center. Through counseling sessions, the patient discovers the emotional and environmental factors that trigger his cravings, and he learns how to avoid these or control them. Realizing that the treatment for opiate dependency is far from over, even when the rehabilitated opiate addict returns to society, opiate addiction treatment centers connect him to support groups and family outreach programs to assist him and his family in rebuilding their lives.
About the Author
Finding the best opiate addiction detox center is a necessity in today’s world. Realizing the fact the author of this article has analyzed the addiction to opiates. He knows how to find the best rehab centers. He has helped many people to find the best programs available out there.