Opiate Addiction Guide
Opiate addiction is an addiction to any of the narcotic opioids that are derived from the opium poppy plant. There are also semisynthetic derivatives of narcotic opioids that are classified in the opiate category as well. Opiates are named after the opium poppy, and the most psychoactive and biologically active opiates that are found in opium include morphine, codeine, papaverine, and thebaine. Morphine is the most predominate opiate found in opium, and it is this opiate from which heroin is derived. Thebaine is toxic on its own, but it is a precursor to less toxic medications like oxycodone and oxymorphone.
Opiates have a variety of effects that differ based on the opiate. Many opiates are highly addictive, and those who take opiates on a regular basis have a risk of developing an opiate addiction. Opiates are abused recreationally and also taken as prescribed medications. Recreational abuse of opiates may lead to opiate addiction. Heroin is still a commonly abused opiate, but prescription opiate drug abuse is on the rise. This is because access to many prescription opiate medications may be easier and cheaper than access to heroin.
Because of the fact that opiates are both physically and psychologically addictive, opiate addiction can be a challenge to overcome. With the help of drug rehab centers, opiate addiction can successfully be treated. Opiate addiction can be treated with a variety of methods at drug rehab centers or opiate treatment centers. Treatment facilities provide opiate addicts with psychotherapy and medications to counteract the effects of opiate withdrawal and addiction along with other forms of support.
Opiate Addiction Symptoms
Treatment for opiate addiction first requires the recognition of the addiction in a friend or family member. If a person is known to be taking opiate painkillers such as Vicodin or Oxycontin or others, he or she should be proactively monitored for the development of opiate addiction. One of the easiest ways to spot an addiction is to look for the physical and psychological symptoms of opiate addiction in a suspected addict.
Those who are addicted or developing an addiction to opiates may show physical symptoms such as a lack of pain sensation, slurred speech, loss of motor control, decreased respiration, dilated or constricted pupils, itching, flushed skin, nausea, vomiting, constipation among other physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms may include euphoria, confusion, anxiety, poor judgment and other symptoms.
Opiate abusers will often have multiple prescriptions for the same opiate drug. Opiate addicts will attempt to hide their drug abuse and may show suspicious or excessively secretive behavior. They may have unexplained financial problems because of the regular purchase of opiate drugs. They may have recently made new friends that are known or suspected drug addicts. Paraphernalia for opiate addiction may include needles or spoons and may be found in the possession of an opiate addict. Also, a drop-off in work and school performance is another common sign of a potential drug addiction or opiate addiction.
Opiate addiction is most clearly demonstrated by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the opiate drug cannot be taken for a period of time. The onset of withdrawal symptoms varies between opiates, and many addicts start having symptoms within 6 to 12 hours of the last dose. Opiate withdrawal symptoms vary in severity between different types of opiates and individuals. Withdrawal can be very severe in many cases of opiate addiction and most often requires medical supervision and treatment. Opiate withdrawal may result in relapse if it does not occur in a protected clinical environment because of the severity of many opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms may include muscle aches, yawning, sweating, insomnia, tearing, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dilated pupils, vomiting, nausea, and more. In severe cases, seizures may occur. Anxiety, agitation, depression, drug cravings, panic attacks and other symptoms are some of the psychological symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The length of time that withdrawal symptoms last varies between the type of opiate and individual, however the physical symptoms generally last no longer than a month, whereas the psychological symptoms may continue on for several months.
Treatment of opiate withdrawal is available at drug rehab centers that provide opiate addiction treatment programs. Opiate withdrawal treatment involves the use of medications to treat withdrawal symptoms and psychotherapy and medications to combat psychological symptoms. Opiate withdrawal is much safer at drug rehab centers rather than independent withdrawal without medical assistance, and withdrawal treatment is administered by addiction and medical specialists at drug rehab centers.
Opiate addiction detoxification is not a simple process because of the numerous withdrawal symptoms associated with many opiate addictions. Coming off of an opiate addiction is a major challenge for most individuals. It is a poor idea for a person to attempt to perform detoxification on their own because of some of the risks such as severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse. Medical supervision and assistance with detoxification is provided at drug rehab centers. Drug rehab center detoxification programs make the process as pain free as possible on a patient with a gradual detoxification protocol and many forms of treatment for symptoms.
Opiate addiction detoxification involves the use of psychotherapy to treat psychological withdrawal symptoms as well as medication. Medication can reduce the severity of symptoms such as pain and nausea, and medication may also be prescribed to treat psychological symptoms. Addiction specialists provide patients with the best care possible and constant support for their symptoms and needs at any time of the day or night.
It is also safer for a patient to detoxify at a drug rehab center because patients are monitored and prevented from relapsing or otherwise harming themselves, and they also have fast access to emergency treatment if necessary. Patients have the convenience of easy access to medical doctors and on-site staff who can provide them with food, medications, and other personal needs as they require. Patients do not have to worry about taking care of themselves, and they can focus on overcoming their addiction in a comfortable and safe environment away from negative influences.
Opiate Addiction Treatment
Opiate addiction treatment typically involves multiple steps that are implemented gradually over a period of several months. Initially, a detoxification protocol is used to wean a patient off of his or her opiate addiction and any other drug addictions that may be need to be treated. Treatment also involves treating the underlying psychological disorders that may be making the addiction worse or contributing to the opiate addiction. Patient education is another core component of opiate addiction treatment, and it is implemented on many different levels.
Opiate addiction treatment involves the expert opinion of medical doctors and licensed addiction specialists. These medical providers are the individuals who create individualized treatment programs for patients at local drug rehab centers. Physical opiate addiction symptoms can be treated with a wide range of medications. Psychological opiate addiction symptoms are treated with medications, group therapy, individual counseling, and long term outpatient counseling. There are a wide range of effective psychotherapies that may be used in treatment including cognitive-behavioral therapy and others.
Patients require various types of social support to be successful in the long term with the avoidance of relapse. Drug rehab centers provide patients not only with a treatment for their addiction, but they also provide them with education on lifestyle changes and coping skills that will help them live healthier and keep them further away from drug addiction. Patients will also learn how to implement choices that will help them avoid any of the past circumstances that lead to drug addiction.