Opiate abuse has changed the face of drug addicts. It used to be that drug addicts were on the fringes of society and most people stayed clear of them. Today, your best friend, next door neighbor, babysitter or teacher could be an opiate addict. This is because it often starts with a legitimate prescription for painkillers or medication used for anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems.
Since opiates are so powerful in delivering that sense of euphoric well being, they are highly addictive. The brain starts craving more and more of that happiness and it doesn’t take much for even the most stable, well rounded person to end up addicted.
Common Opiates Abused
Heroin is the street opiate that many end up seeking because of the high cost of the pharmaceutical pain medication and it is one of the deadliest drugs out there today. Doing heroin one time often leaves a person trapped in the downward spiral of serious drug addiction. Unfortunately, heroin is now easier to get a hold of and usually cheaper than prescription medications, so it is where many addicts turn when they are unable to get their prescriptions.
The most commonly abused prescription medications include:
The Cycle of Opiate Addiction
The cycle of addiction often starts with an injury, medical condition, or mental health issue. A doctor issues a prescription for opiate based drugs. The addiction sets in and the addict starts taking more than their prescribed dose. This causes their pills to run out before they can legally get more, so they end up going to different doctors to get multiple prescriptions or going to pain clinics to get extra pills.
Eventually, a doctor may determine the legitimate need for the pills is no longer present and stop prescribing it. This is when addicts either admit they need help or begin using deception and scheming to get pills illegally. This is where many will turn to heroine because it gives the same feelings but can be found easier and bought for less on the streets.
It is extremely difficult for opiate addicts to stop abusing the drugs on their own. Withdrawal is hardcore and can even be life threatening and many will continue abusing just because they are afraid to go through the detox process.
Signs of Opiate Abuse
You may notice that someone is high on opiates if their eyes are small and red or they appear to have trouble opening them all the way. They may also seem unusually happy or spaced out like they aren’t fully present on a mental level.
Long term use will result in chronic constipation, shaking, nausea, and can even result in convulsions or seizures in the case of an overdose.
Many of the signs of opiate abuse are social in nature. The drug interferes with daily life and the addict will choose to stay home and get high rather than doing things they used to enjoy. They may withdraw from friends and loved ones and as the addiction progresses they may push everyone away by stealing from them, lying to them, or just withdrawing from them entirely.
By the time an opiate addict seeks help they often have very little of a functional life left. Losing it all is often the bottom that breaks them down to finally seek help. If someone can intervene earlier on the addiction might not be quite as devastating in the end.
Suboxone Detox Treatment – Is It The Best Option For Opiate Addicts?
Opiate detoxification treatment helps break the cycle of opiate abuse. Suboxone is touted as the miracle drug for opiate drug addicts. This drug is used to treat severe cases of opiate addiction, by keeping withdrawal symptoms and cravings at bay.
Without a doubt, suboxone detox treatment for opiate addiction certainly serves a purpose, especially at a certain level of abuse, but the truth of the matter is that it’s an opiate replacement therapy, and you’re still taking a form of opiates. If you become addicted to suboxone, you will experience suboxone withdrawal if you stop taking it, just like you would with other opiates. Promises of weaning down and getting off of this drug easily doesn’t typically happen without painful and long lasting withdrawal.
Treating Opiate Addiction
Persons with an addition to opiates continue using their drugs due to an irrational fear of withdrawal from the drug. Addicts are full of fear and the short-term emotional needs of the addict vastly outweigh the long-term rational thoughts and benefits of detoxing from opiates. The thought of the withdrawals and being be able to live a sober life without drugs prevents many addicts from breaking through their denial and working towards accepting and taking responsibility for their actions and seeking help.