The development of several strong opiate medications for pain has caused a massive increase in the numbers of confirmed addicts throughout the country. Opiate detox centers are treating people in record numbers. Although attempts are being made to help curtail the problem, addictions and overdose deaths continue to climb. Below is critical information about the opiate craze and the reasons behind what appears to be a sudden spike in opiate-related addictions.
What are opiates?
Opiates are drugs used primarily as strong painkillers in prescription medications such as Oxycontin and codeine. It is derived from poppy seeds from the flower of the same name. Opiates are a highly addictive substance that is also used to produce heroin. Pharmaceutical opiates are tightly regulated, and the prescriptions are monitored to reduce incidences of abuse. Unfortunately, prescription opiate addiction and accidental overdose are on a dramatic rise in the United States.
The Addictive Nature of Opiates
Opiates are one of the more addictive drugs on the market for human consumption. The near-immediate effects make it a favorite drug to use on a recreational basis. It is the main reason it is monitored heavily for abuse and sales to individuals without a prescription. It is challenging to quit taking opiate drugs once a dependency has developed due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Pain Solution Dilemma
It is no secret that opiate prescriptions tend to work well to combat severe and chronic pain. It is the main reason it is prescribed so often, even with the potential to create dependency. Minimal controls were in place until the explosion of opiate-related overdoses and deaths began to catch the news cycle headlines. Most doctors have begun to voluntarily taper back on providing refills in most instances and provide a limited supply for most patients. It has yet to show any appreciable results in lowering the addiction and overdose rates.
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Once an individual has used opiates to control pain for any length of time, it makes any other alternative seem ineffective. Most other pain relievers are weaker in nature and fall well below the tolerance levels of most prescription opiate users. Patients will tend to start “shopping around” for other doctors to get the desired opiate prescription. It is dangerous if the doctor is unaware they have already received a prescription elsewhere, under a different name, or have an already developing serious dependency.
How Prescription Abuse Can Evolve to Purchasing and Using Street Drugs
Prescription opiate addiction is a circular problem. It is effective against pain but gradually requires more and more as the body builds a tolerance to the drug. A doctor is only willing to write a prescription for a specified amount. Once reaching this cap, the patient begins to struggle in two ways. The first problem is with the developing dependence. The second is struggling with the increasing pain they feel with the gradual process of the drug losing painkilling attributes in the given dosage amount. Patients will begin to look for other street sources of opiates to satisfy the growing need for the medication.
The Heroin Connection
No one begins the journey of seeing doctors for medical conditions with the expectations of one day becoming a heroin addict. Heroin is the cheapest source of opiates on the street. It is also the easiest to come across. Very few people getting legitimate opiate prescriptions are willing to sell them on the street. Heroin soon becomes the drug of choice due to lack of options. The need to stave off withdrawal symptoms becomes the driving force behind the addiction.
The Pain and Stigma of Opiate Addiction
Heroin addiction used to be considered a dirty little habit only shared by those in slums and small back alleys. It has quickly made an entrance into every walk of life and income bracket. People try desperately to hide the addiction due to the continued stigma around this type of addiction. The sheer physical pain endured that drives the addict to the streets in search of heroin makes life utter misery.
Detox from opiates requires careful treatment planning. It can be dangerous to try and withdrawal without the close supervision of a medical team. The process can be lengthy due to having to detox safely. The symptoms can be uncomfortable. You should only detox with the help of treatment professionals that are familiar with how to assist in your comfort levels.
Contact a Pasadena heroin rehab like Pasadena Recovery Center and find out more about opiate addiction treatment today!