Consequences of Opiate Abuse
Opiate abuse is a potentially deadly situation in which a user will take drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers in manners other than deemed medically necessary or socially acceptable. Heroin is never considered safe and, although many opiates are prescribed, they are not safe for recreational use. Many consequences can arise when opiates are abused including health problems, financial struggles, overdose, legal troubles, and possibly death.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “drug abuse also plays a role in many major social problems, such as drugged driving, violence, stress, and child abuse.” People who abuse drugs, including opiates, are at an increased risk of becoming homeless, being arrested for a crime or missing work due to their drug abuse. Left untreated, opiate abuse can have devastating consequences.
Various health problems can ensue as a result of opiate abuse including infection, disease, addiction and psychological illness such as anxiety or depression. Users who inject opiates such as heroin or prescription drugs are at an increased risk of contracting STDs such as HIV, AIDs, Hepatitis or other serious infections. There is also a risk of organ damage, heart failure and other serious consequences that can occur as a result of the opiate use.
As opiate abuse spirals out of control, users often find themselves craving the drug so extensively that they cannot fathom life without it. As such, any extra money that is made will often go towards fueling the drug habit. This can lead to serious financial struggles for the user. Additional financial struggles will often ensue as a result of job loss associated with the drug abuse.
Opiate abuse can lead to an increased tolerance which can result in extensive drug use. When a drug is used in excess, the risk of overdose is greatly increased. Overdosing on an opiate can cause serious health consequences including:
- heart attack
- respiratory failure
- organ damage
According to the DEA, most opiates are Schedule II controlled substances. Heroin, is a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that anyone in possession of heroin can be arrested for possession and may be sentenced to jail time. People who are caught with prescription opiates such as Oxycontin or Hydrocodone can be arrested if they do not have a valid prescription for the medication.
Overdose, injury, accident or serious health complications that arise as a result of opiate abuse can all lead to death. The only real way to prevent possible death from occurring as a result of opiate abuse is to avoid opiates. For those who do use the drugs, it’s vital that proper directions are followed and that continued medical care is sought to ensure the safety of the patient.