Understanding Opioid Addiction

Opiate addiction is one of the most common reasons that people enter substance abuse treatment near West Palm Beach. Opiate addiction can quickly ruin a person’s physical and mental health, social and professional relationships, and finances. Here are some facts that might help you better understand opiate addiction, opioid withdrawal, and the need for swift intervention and substance abuse treatment.

Why Opiate Abuse is So Common

Opiate Addiction Danger The most frequently abused opiates are heroin, morphine, codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, Dilaudid, and Duragesic. Opiates are commonly prescribed to treat chronic or severe pain. In 2012, doctors wrote more than 259 million prescriptions for opiates. Four out of five heroin users admit that they moved on to heroin after abusing prescription opiates, either obtained legally or illegally. Almost all chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were more expensive and harder to obtain. Opiate use initially produces an intense feeling of wellbeing or euphoria that quickly becomes addictive to users. As opiate use continues, the user will need to take more and more in order to achieve that same initial feeling. This almost always leads to opiate abuse, and often leads to opiate overdose.

Dangers of Opiate Addiction

In high doses, opiates can cause cardiac or respiratory arrest. Attempts to illegally obtain opiates can put a user in risky or even life-threatening situations. Many users are arrested for possessing or attempting to purchase opiates. Opiate abuse puts incredible stress on a user’s family, friends, and professional relationships. Many users are unable to maintain relationships or hold down a job due to their drug use. Many also have unstable finances, as it becomes increasingly expensive to maintain their opiate addiction.

What Happens during Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable, but are not life threatening. Many people experience opioid withdrawal if they are unable to obtain more opiates before the ones in their system begin disappearing. Withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, agitation, muscle aches and pains, cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hot and cold sweats, a runny nose, and teary eyes. These opioid withdrawal symptoms can last from one week to one month.

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