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For more than 100 years now, Opiates are known for their healing power, especially for providing the best relief from excruciating pain, enhancing sleep and generating a feeling of euphoria. Various substances like Morphine, Codeine etc. occur naturally in the juice of the seeds of the Poppy plant from which Opium is made or produced. Today, more and more synthetic drugs are available in the market which is considered far more dangerous from the natural ones and they ruin your entire nervous and metabolic system. These chemical drugs are formulated and made in laboratories to imitate the effects of Morphine.

Ever since humans first came in contact with opiates, they discovered that it is not only powerful but immensely addictive substance. Today, with more than 2 million Opiate users in the US according to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, this remains the most addictive substance known to mankind. It is only alcohol that causes addiction problem longer than opium. In today’s modern world, it is easier to get rehabilitation from opium addiction; however it is much more difficult to shy away from these highly addictive and alluring substances.

It’s not just banned substances like Heroin or other narcotics that causes withdrawal, addiction or overdose; it is prescription drugs which have outpaced Heroin and Cocaine in the exclusive arena of drug abuse in the US. As per the data released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 20,000 drug overdose cases in the US due to prescription painkiller drugs. If you are a person suffering from substance abuse, especially Opiates, it is always advised to go for a renowned drug rehab consultant or a drug rehab center in your neighborhood that is certified by the government and offers the best therapeutic treatment for substance abuse and that would eventually help to avoid a tragedy.

What exactly are Opiates?

Opiates belong to a category of drugs that is retrieved from the poppy plant. It is often referred to by different names such as narcotics or opioids that are basically used as a therapeutic medication to treat chronic pain. They essentially work by blocking the pain signals to the brain and thereby reducing the intensity.

Heroin and opium are considered illegal opiates whereas Codeine and Oxycodone are regarded as legal opiates. Irrespective of the legal status, opiates are incredibly potent drugs that are extremely addictive and carry a high risk of abuse by individuals.

treatment for opiate addiction

How Addictive are Opiates?

The effects of Opioids are produced by binding to special cells which are referred to as Opioid receptors. These specialized cells are located in the brain, spinal cord and in the digestive tract. When Opium bind to these receptors in the brain and in the spinal cord it goes on to prevent the message of pain and discomfort to the brain where there are receptor cells. At the same instance, it generates the feeling of euphoria, contentment, pleasure and joy which is desired by all.

The results caused by opiates are not just pleasurable but they also make a user come back for more in search of that ecstasy and euphoria. When opiates are taken as per the dose as prescribed by a registered physician, it is usually not harmful. But when this substance is purely used for recreational purpose and taken in large doses, sniffed, snorted or injected; it can become really addictive. As and when the human brain and nerves get used to the chemical changes caused by opiates, a tolerance level for such type of drugs starts to develop. By the term ‘tolerance’, it means that the user requires a higher dosage of drugs to achieve the same sensation.

Difference between Opiates and Opioids

We often use both these terms interchangeably. At one point of time, opiates were known as drugs that were derived from opium whereas opioids were referred to as synthetic drugs which had chemical component. Today, it seems, opioids refer to all types of drugs, be it natural, synthetic or partially synthetic.

Withdrawal from Opiates

Have you ever given a thought that if opiates are so dangerous, why it is so difficult for addicts to stop using them? It is only because of the opiate withdrawal symptoms. Temporarily stopping the use or reducing the dose can result in serious side effects, within a matter of hours. The withdrawal is so severely uncomfortable that it prevents the addict from quitting.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms are as following:

  • Immense cravings for drugs
  • Watery eyes
  • Running nose
  • Periodic cold sweats
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness

Addictive Factors for Opium

  • The method of drug intake – Pills or tablets taken orally are not as potent as the liquid which is taken intravenously by injecting it into the bloodstream. Similarly, when an oral drug such as oxycodone tablets are grounded up and taken and snorted through the nose, the effects may come, instantly and strongly.
  • It has been observed that users, who have been taking drugs for a considerable longer period of time, develop a tolerance for drugs which actually means that they need higher doses of drugs to achieve the same euphoric effects.
  • The physical built of an individual such as the body weight, height, mass and metabolism influence the potency of drugs when thought in terms of addiction and how long does it take to get out of the system.
  • The half-life of opiate is another factor determining addiction as it is the time taken by the body to eliminate half the amount of dosage of drugs. Drugs or opiates that have a short ‘half-life’, eliminate quickly from the system, which means you’ll experience the effects for a shorter period.
  • The usage and combination of other drugs intensify the effects of addiction as it directly affects the central nervous system. Individuals, who take opioids like Heroin or Cocaine intravenously, are at a risk of blood borne diseases such as AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis.

Opiate Therapy Options

Since opioid addiction is near impossible to break, you need the services of a government accredited rehab facility that has the best of therapists, doctors and physicians. Opiate addiction can be successfully treated through standard rehab programs that consist of four steps.

Detox – Detoxification is the first step of the treatment process. In this process the addictive substances (opiates) are successfully eliminated from the body under strict medical supervision. When you go for an Partial hospitalization rehab treatment, you are assured of the best medical support to remain comfortable during the entire opiate withdrawal process.

Drug Counseling – The drug rehab process involves intensive counseling. Counseling sessions can be in the form of one-to-one therapies or family and group therapies. The ultimate goal of one such counseling is to provide the best information and develop the coping skills to lead a drug-free life.

Medical Therapy – It is said that Opiate Treatment Programs (OTPs) are the most effective drug rehab therapies to achieve the best results if you are looking for a long-term solution to this problem. The dosage and administration can be controlled to suit your individual needs as you progress through the various stages of drug recovery.

Aftercare & Maintenance – It needs to be noted that any aftercare program does not necessarily ends with a detox or drug rehab. Any standard recovery process continues for weeks, months and even years after you have completed one such treatment. Aftercare services include 12 Steps Groups, lifestyle coaching, case studies, group therapies, family meeting, medication management and more.

Receiving Opiate Addiction Treatment at SLO Recovery Centers

At SLO Recovery Centers, we help and assist you overcome any severe Opiate addiction, not only to help you lead a drug-free life but to recreate the lifestyle, you actually want. Call our toll free number now to know more about our customized substance or drug abuse treatment programs today.