The opioid epidemic in the United States has been on the rise for the past two decades. Prescription opioids have been a catalyst in the growth of the epidemic. Many people begin prescription opiates in search of chronic pain management completely unaware of the addictive properties.
Unfortunately, many people overlook these addictive traits and people of all ages become addicted to opioids. More than 10 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018. This number feeds the opioid epidemic and number of addicted Americans.
Thankfully, treatment options are growing in tandem with awareness of the epidemic across the nation.
Opioids are a class of drugs. Opiates are a subclass of opioids that are derivatives of the poppy plant. As the number of addicted Americans grows, so does the need for treatment programs.
Common Prescription Opiates Explained
As previously referenced, opiates are any drug that is made from the poppy plant. The term opioid is all encompassing, including opiates and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Opioid pain relievers are commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain in the form of prescription medications. There are a number of different types of prescription opiates. Some of the most common include codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.
There are other types of opiate medications, as well as illicit opioid drugs like heroin.
Effects of Prescription Opiates
Opioids have powerful pain killing effects. They also cause euphoria, feelings of intense comfort and sedation. Different types of opiates can cause different effects or combinations of effects depending on the drug and dose administered.
Once people experience the powerful effects of opioids, they frequently want more. The brain builds a dependence to the drug very quickly which is what makes prescription opioid addiction so common.
Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
There are many signs of opiate addiction. Many people try to stop using opiates on their own, but are met with a series of severe withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are negative side effects experienced when stopping use of a drug.
Withdrawal symptoms are both mental and physical. Common physical withdrawal symptoms include chills, sweats, vomiting, constipation, and seizures. Mental symptoms usually include irritability, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
These withdrawal symptoms can often lead people to continue using opiates and leave them unable to stop on their own. These severe symptoms are why a medical detox process followed by inpatient treatment is always recommended. Withdrawal symptoms can be treated with medications and medical guidance.
If you experience withdrawal symptoms and are unable to stop on your own, you are dependent and possibly addicted to opiates. If negative consequences are not enough to get someone to stop using, they likely have an addiction to opiates.
Opioid addiction and opioid abuse are responsible for tens of thousands of opioid overdose deaths a year.
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Are You Addicted to Prescription Opiates?
Many people are prescribed opiates nationwide. It is common for people to be completely unaware of their dependence or addiction to the drugs. By the time many people realize they are addicted to opiates, they are unable to stop.
People often do not realize they are addicted until they run out of a prescription. However, many people who are dependent on opiates are not addicted to them. Addiction is a step further than dependence.
Addiction is when you are unable to stop despite negative consequences and a desire to do so. Addiction is also identified by a number of signs:
- If you have misused opiates multiple times
- If you take more than your prescribed dose, or take someone else’s prescription pain medication
- If you are unable to stop despite negative consequences
- If you continue to fall back into overuse or opioid misuse
- If you experience withdrawal symptoms
Finally, the cravings. If you experience compulsive thoughts about more opioids or severe cravings for more of them, you are likely addicted. All of these questions are tell tale signs of opiate addiction.
Thankfully, there are treatment options that are evidence based and available today. There are ways to overcome opioid addiction that alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate Treatment Programs
We offer a full continuum of care for all types of addiction. We are a dual diagnosis facility that specializes in treating substance use disorders and mental health. We understand the need for individualized treatment plans and therapy.
Our programs have high success rates because we utilize multiple treatment modalities. Opioid addiction is not the end of the road. We can walk you or a family member through the process of getting help.
Our experienced staff is available 24/7 to help. Call us today at (800) 817-1247
Let’s get you or a loved one help with a few simple steps.