Opiates are substances from the opium plant and seeds, and their use includes controlled prescriptions as opioid painkillers. The chemicals have a characteristic calming effect, which increases their potential for abuse and addiction. Opiate addiction mostly happens after prescription to deal with an injury following an accident. Often, the patients receive the medication as a prescription without the intention of abuse. They may later feel the drugs are not as effective as before when their body becomes tolerant.
When the substance builds within the body, you have to increase the dose to feel better. However, increasing the dosage comes with its risks. You become physically dependent on opiates, and you must take them to feel normal.
The physical dependence on opiates causes cravings, and a full-blown addiction develops. The resulting addiction is far worse than the desire to take the substances.
Typically, addiction is a neurological illness that becomes almost inescapable to the person with the problem. You will often feel the need to quit, but you don’t have the willpower to do so alone. In such a case, you need specialized and professional help from facilities such as https://www.gallusdetox.com/.
The Effects of Opiates Abuse
Then taken in more than the prescribed amounts, opiates have a tranquil and euphoric effect. But the carefree and mostly pleasant feeling has negative consequences. The addiction to opiates usually comes with drug-seeking behaviors such as doctor shopping. The person visits several doctors in an attempt to obtain new prescriptions from them.
When finances are unavailable, the person will borrow or steal. Alternatively, some will seek heroin from the streets to satisfy their urge for opiates when the drugs are unavailable. Heroin is cheaper and easier to access.
The signs and symptoms of opiate abuse include:
- Constricted pupils
- Frequent vomiting
- Excessive sleepiness or inability to get up
- Intermittent loss of consciousness
- Restricted breathing
The Different Types of Opiates Often Abused
Prescription opiates are either antagonists or agonists. Naltrexone and Naloxone are antagonists and typically less habit-forming than agonists. But the potential for abuse is still present.
In most cases, Naltrexone and Naloxone are often part of the detoxification stage.
On the other hand, agonists have a similar characteristic to the naturally occurring endorphins in your body. These natural hormones interact with particular brain receptors to have similar effects of taking opiates.
Some of the most common opiate agonists are Fentanyl and morphine, which are more potent than others. But many agonists such as heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone have a high potential for abuse.
Some of the most popularly abused opiates include the following:
- Morphine has often had the status of a miracle drug for people dealing with severe chronic pain. But this opiate is also one of the most addictive substances and responsible for numerous deaths in the US.
- Codeine is less potent than its peers in the same category, and its primary uses include relief from mild to moderate coughing and pain. You can easily access codeine with a prescription. Usually, young people abuse the drug by mixing it with sugary drinks to create a drink they refer to as sizzurp or purple drank.
- Demerol is a less frequent prescription med for moderate and severe pain in modern times based on its high potential for abuse. The drug has a similar euphoric effect to morphine.
- Darvocet/Darvon, now FDA-banned, was responsible for countless deaths and hospitalizations in their prime. These propoxyphene-based painkillers are still available in the black market.
- Dilaudid, dubbed as the hospital-grade heroine, is quite a potent painkiller. Dilaudid, available in tablet form, can cause trouble breathing and eventually death.
- Fentanyl, which is more than 100 times more potent than morphine, is only available for severe pain. When combined with other painkillers, Fentanyl can cause various dangerous side effects in case of an overdose.
- Hydrocarbon is a common ingredient in the majority of potent painkillers such as Vicodin. And while there are pure hydrocodone medications, the drug comes together with ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
You can help a loved one suffering from opiate addiction by encouraging them to attend inpatient detox, which is the most effective. Inpatient rehab can then follow to wean them out of the opiate abused thoroughly.