Many experts would agree that heroin addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. This particular drug addiction, which is also present in West Palm Beach, can cause fatal overdoses and other serious health consequences . Since prevention is always preferable, it’s worth investigating the causes of such widespread drug abuse. One of the major factors driving the heroin addiction is actually opioid painkillers, which doctors can legally prescribe for patients with acute or chronic conditions.
Some health advocates have called upon doctors to prescribe powerful painkillers more carefully or to monitor their patients for signs of drug dependence and abuse. This is because some patients become addicted to legally prescribed narcotics. Consequently, opioid addiction can lead to heroin addiction when the individual can no longer afford or is no longer prescribed opioids. Getting heroin on the street produces the same sense of euphoria and it’s much cheaper. It also increases the user’s risk of dying from an overdose, contracting an infectious disease, or suffering other dire health consequences.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding opiate addiction in West Palm Beach and the rest of the country. People of all ages, economic backgrounds, races, genders, ethnicities, and social classes can become addicted to opioids. Opiates are very commonly prescribed to people who are in severe or chronic pain, and they are incredibly addictive and difficult to stop taking .
Watch this video for some more insight into opiate addiction. The video demonstrates that opiate addiction is a chemical process that occurs in the brain, and that has nothing to do with a person’s background, character, or walk of life. Drug detox can be a great choice for people struggling with addictions.
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
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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