Opiate Addiction Treatment Center

End Addiction Once and For All


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Opiates are a group of drugs that are used for treating pain. This includes drugs such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Opiates are enveloped under the more broad term “opioids”, which includes all drugs with morphine-like effects. Opioids are derived from opium, which comes from the poppy plant.

Because opiates release an abundance of dopamine in the brain, in turn creating feelings of pleasure, opiates are extremely addictive. In addition, opiates are relatively easy to get ahold of and willingly subscribed. This dangerous combination has resulted in an opiate epidemic in America. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control over 12 million people reported abusing opiates or taking them for non-medical reasons.

Symptoms of Opiate Addiction

All opiates have an extremely high abuse potential and are even listed on various “Substance Control Schedules” under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of the United States. Because the high that opiates create is so intense, even minimal use of the drug is enough to cause measurable symptoms of abuse after only a few days. Furthermore, many opiate users are likely to develop a tolerance to them, which can trigger a dangerous cycle of addiction. Some recognizable symptoms of opiate addiction include:

  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slowed breathing
  • Drowsiness

  • Social withdrawal/isolation
  • Sudden financial problems
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Extra pill bottles turning up in the trash
  • Nodding off
  • Noticeable elation

Effects of Opiate Use

Opiates are primarily used for treating and relieving pain. As a result, they are normally prescribed to individuals struggling with chronic pain, who are undergoing medical treatment or surgery, and the elderly. When ingested, opiates create feelings of pleasure and euphoria by releasing a large amount of dopamine into the brain. However, the length of the high varies based on type of drug. For example, a heroin high will last between 15 to 30 minutes while a morphine high can last as long as 6 hours.

Along with this feeling of euphoria, opiates have a wide range of effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Paranoia
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea

Dangers of Opiate Abuse

The highly addictive nature of opiates can have a significant effect on all aspects of your overall physical health, mental health, and general well-being. Long-term opiate abuse can have a negative effect on your tolerance for the drug. Users will begin to notice that they are no longer affected the same way by their usual dose and will start ingesting more and more at a time. This results in a cycle of abuse that eventually leads to addiction. Opiate addiction can lead to health problems as well as issues in relationships and with the law.

Complications of Opiate Addiction

Prolonged abuse of opiates can result in the following health concerns:

  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hypoxia
  • Seizures
  • Pain sensitivity

  • Heart failure
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Bacterial infections
  • Soft tissue infections

Medical Intervention for Opiate Addiction

When recovering from an opiate addiction, it is critical that one seeks professional medical care. The withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and can be aided by medications and maintenance by an experienced team. During opiate detox, a patient might be prescribed methadone or buprenorphine to make the withdrawal process more manageable.

Detox is typically followed by a 30 to 90 day opiate addiction treatment program at a rehabilitation center. Time spent in rehab is devoted primarily to individual and group therapy as well as other support activities. During therapy, patients will speak with counselors to develop effective coping and relationship-building skills that come in handy after inpatient treatment ends.

Recovering from Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease. Luckily, with the right treatment, people can find the light at the end of the tunnel. Through opiate detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy and support, individuals can begin the road to recovery. If you or a loved one needs help for an opiate addiction, please contact HARP Opiate Addiction Treatment Center today at 561-379-3299 and begin on the road to recovery.

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