Addiction is a disease that can cause long-term, devastating effects on physical and mental health, as well as social and economic problems. While heroin is an illegal opiate drug that most are familiar with, dangerous addiction to prescription opiate drugs is on the rise. More than 20,000 people in the United States died in 2016 due to overdose on drugs like oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), according to the U.S.
National Library of Medicine.
Effects of Opiates
While opiates are safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, they can easily become addictive due to their euphoric effects. Opiates are painkillers, typically used after injuries or post-surgery. They send signals to your brain and cause effects like slower breathing, numbness, and anxiety relief. They can also have antidepressive effects, which increases the chance of addiction. Misuse of opiates, as well as the need for higher and higher dosages as resistance is built, can lead to overdose and death.
Treating addiction can be a long and difficult process, but if you or someone you know needs help, there’s no shame in seeking assistance. Since addition can be a very complex disease influenced by a variety of factors, professional help is also the best course of action to start on the road to recovery. Opiate addiction treatment at facilities like Addiction Alternatives in Florida can help with preventing overdose and treating addiction in patients. The use of suboxone in medication-assisted opiate addiction treatment can double a patient’s chance of kicking addition for longer than 18 months, according to CNN.
If you’re starting to feel dependent on opiates, find yourself taking more than your prescribed dosage, or are seeking out opiates on your own, then it’s time to seek help. If a loved one is using opiates, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of addiction, such as mood changes and memory problems. Education and awareness are the first steps to alleviating epidemics of addiction.