One of the most commonly used categories of drugs is the opiate category. Many people fall prey to opiate addictions, finding themselves struggling to end opiate use in their lives. Quitting opiates cold turkey is never a good decision, as it can be life-threatening. It’s best to look for an opiate detox program.
Opiates, which includes a group of substances called opioids, have become more and more of a problem for families throughout the United States. In fact, the sad truth is that millions of people are suffering from opiate and opioid misuse and addiction problems.
This category of drugs includes both illicit and legal drugs. Medical professionals prescribe various opioid pain relief medications to members who are suffering from chronic pain. But, there are also illegal types of opiates and opioids, including the powerfully addictive drug heroin.
No matter what kind of opioid or opiate a person may be abusing, the consequences can be very harmful and even fatal. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), over opioid use claims the lives of over 130 people daily.
This is why professional detox and treatment centers are so vital. They can literally save lives by ending substance use disorder. If you’ve been living with an opiate addiction problem, treatment can help you overcome this problem and live a life of freedom.
How Opiate Addictions Develop
As we mentioned earlier, many individuals begin using opiates as directed by their doctors. Opioid pain relief medications are used to help those who suffer from recurring pain and other similar conditions.
Others may begin using opiates or opioids for different reasons. Sometimes, illicit drug use starts as an act of curiosity or in hopes of finding a way to escape from emotional or physical pain.
In any case, however, the effects of opiate use remain the same. Opiates tend to bring tranquilizing effects to those who use them. But, although these drugs calm the nerves, the euphoric effect is one of the things that causes people to become addicted to opiates.
The euphoric effect happens as a result of the drug’s impact on the brain. When a person uses opiates or opioids, the brain releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals create a sense of calmness and euphoria.
After using a drug from this category, people may feel an overwhelming feeling of happiness, a rush of excitement, a heightening of emotion. Many people find euphoria to be very pleasurable. Often, this effect is referred to as a “high”.
Again, this state of euphoria tends to feel good to drug users. It’s addicting and, as a result, individuals may become dependent on that pleasant feeling. This leads people to use more and more of their drug of choice in order to experience the “high” feeling again.
After repeated use, addiction may enter the scene. People who once used a substance to treat their pain or simply to “try it out” may find themselves abusing and developing an addiction to the drug.
Addiction can affect anyone. So, if you or someone you know is using opiates for any reason, it’s important to know more about the signs that might indicate that there’s a problem.
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Some Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Addiction
There are many different drugs under the opioid and opiate category. Some of the common ones include fentanyl, codeine, morphine, methadone, Percocet, and hydrocodone. Heroin is one of the most commonly misused illicit opiates.
Whether a person is addicted to an illegal or a prescription drug, the drug will affect his or her life in various ways. Sometimes, people who are suffering from opiate addiction may become distant from family members and friends in order to hide their addiction.
In many cases, people may spend more time with other users or with people who can make drugs easily accessible to them. Some people may visit doctor after doctor in order to get new prescriptions for opiates.
Other signs of opiate addictions may show themselves in the way people feel and react. Sometimes, the signs of addiction are in the symptoms people experience. Symptoms and signs of opiate or opioid addictions might also include:
- Signs of euphoria
- Social withdrawal
- Poor decision-making
- Concentration problems
- Emotional withdrawal
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation
- Changes in weight (usually weight loss)
- Sleeping problems (sleeping too much or too little)
Financial problems may also be a sign of drug misuse and dependence. Sometimes, people who are suffering from addiction use their money in order to buy more of the substance. They may fall behind on bills and miss days of work in order to support their habit.
These signs and symptoms could indicate that a person has a problem with opiate use. After using these drugs for a while, the effects can be very intense, even deadly. Liver damage, brain damage, and many more problems could come up because of long-term drug use.
Many individuals who struggle with addiction might see the dangers of drug use. But, when they notice these signs in their lives, it may be hard for them to know what to do. Reaching out for help is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
Fear often keeps people from getting the help they need. They may feel that their families will judge them. Or, they might be afraid of relapsing after treatment. So, many individuals opt for detoxing at home instead of going through a professional treatment program.
But, this isn’t ideal or safe for one main reason: withdrawal.
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The Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal
Symptoms might include:
- Stomach pain
- State of confusion
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Shakiness and tremors
- Muscle pains and spasms
After using opiates or opioids for a while, people become dependent on those substances. Their bodies get used to functioning under the influence of the drugs. So, when a person stops using opiates, his or her body goes into withdrawal. This is what makes opiate detox so important for someone recovering.
The symptoms of opiate withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with. Many times, those in withdrawal experience intense anxiety and even depression. Sleeping problems, like insomnia, are also common symptoms of withdrawal.
During withdrawal, some people may even experience hallucinations or seizures. So, it’s very important to have professional supervision and guidance throughout the opiate detox process.
Opiate Detox and Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery
If you or a loved one needs help detoxing and recovering from an opiate use disorder, the compassionate and professional team here at Sana Lake Recovery Center is here to help. Let us walk with you and your loved ones on the road to recovery.