For those who are addicted to opiates like heroin, methadone or Oxycontin, the dangers and devastation that comes with addiction can be just heartbreaking to watch or to take part in. Opiate addiction takes everything away from an individual leaving them hopeless, heartbroken, battered and bruised. Fortunately, there is help available for those who find themselves suffering from addiction to these dangerous drugs. Treatment and rehabilitation efforts will pay off and even those who are addicted to the strongest of opiates or who have suffered addiction for a prolonged period of time can recover.
Various symptoms may be recognized when an individual is addicted to opiates but not all of these symptoms are so easy to see. In fact, you may pass right by someone who is addicted to opiates and have no idea that they are suffering from this terrible disease. This is because many opiate addiction symptoms can be masked or covered up so that the average individual would never even know that a person is suffering from opiate addiction. Some of the addiction symptoms that are common with opiate addiction include track marks, lack of motivation, poor performance, and becoming distant from friends or family members. Unfortunately, if you do not know the individual, it could be difficult to notice many of these opiate addiction symptoms.
The physical need to use opiates in order to “feel” good, function or otherwise have motivation is called opiate dependence. As opiates are abused a tolerance begins to build and the individual will need more and more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. As this tolerance builds, a dependence on the drug is also forming. Dependence leads to withdrawal signs when the drug is not used and many of these symptoms of withdrawal are painful and difficult to cope with for the drug user. Physical dependence must be treated before any psychological dependence factors can be addressed in order to ensure that the addict does recover from this dangerous addiction.
The dangers of becoming addicted to opiates run much deeper than simply being uncomfortable or spending all your money on drugs. Opiate overdose increases with each use of opiates and there is a high risk of death if too much of a particular opiate is used or when opiates are mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Opiate overdose can result in come, seizures and death. If you believe that you or someone you love has overdosed on opiates, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.
Much like opiate addiction, opiate abuse is the uncontrolled or abusive use of opiate based drugs such as heroin, methadone, Oxycontin or Oxycodone. Opiate abuse is the phase that actually leads to opiate addiction and begins when an individual starts using opiates off the street or uses a prescribed opiate in a manner that was not specified by his or her prescribing physician. Opiate abuse is easier to treat than the opiate addiction that follows so if you believe that you or someone you care about is abusing opiates, it’s time to seek help by contacting a local rehab center for treatment.