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Understanding Opiates Addiction

There are various effective treatment methods available for heroin addiction. These include pharmacological and behavioral interventions. Both of these approaches are aimed at restoring a degree of normalcy to the addict’s brain function and behavior. Although pharmacological and behavioral treatments can be very useful when utilized alone, research indicates that for some people, combining both types of treatment is the most effective treatment approach.

While choosing treatment, you can opt for inpatient or outpatient treatment centers. The difference between outpatient and inpatient treatment is that in the inpatient program, you are required to live at the treatment facility 24 hours a day, while, in the outpatient program, you will undergo treatment in the facility during the day, and you will be allowed to go home at night. Your personal needs and the severity of your condition will help you decide which treatment program is most suitable for you. If you are a Westhampton Beach resident, you can check for a list of detox facilties in Westhampton Beach in the website.

Opioid addiction is dangerous and can harm the addict’s life in every possible way. So if you or a person you care about is addicted, it is wise to seek medical help from a qualified medical practitioner.

Opiates, also known as opioid painkillers, are narcotic medications often prescribed by medical doctors to manage pain in individuals. Opiates include medications such as hydrocodone, codeine, OxyContin, morphine, methadone, dihydrocodone, and heroin. These opiates vary in the power of the narcotic element of the prescription drug, and they are sedative painkillers that depress the central nervous system (CNS), reduce psychological and physical pain, and slow down the body functioning. Many prescription opioid medications are used for their intended purposes. However, certain individuals get addicted to the way the narcotic medications make them feel.

Opioids are processed from the flower of the opium poppy plant. They have been used for hundreds of years for treating sleeplessness, pain, and diarrhea. Opioid components act on the opioid receptors in the brain and CNS. It is important to know that prolonged usage of these opioids can cause brain damage that can interfere with the brain’s ability produce natural opiates known as endorphins. This, in turn, can interfere with the body’s natural ability to manage pain, causing a high amount of pain when the individual tries to quit.

Certain people get addicted to the feelings of euphoria and emotional wellbeing the narcotic drugs make them feel. Thus, it numbs the effects of past undiagnosed mental illnesses or traumas. Since these medications are managed by the DEA and FDA, medical practitioners prescribe the medications for a certain period, and then the individual stops taking them. This can make the individual go through uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal, usually leading them to find a cheaper and easy way to obtain the same effects of these drugs using heroin. Abusing heroin, because of the inconsistent purity levels and intravenous injection, can cause more devastating interpersonal and health problems.

Most individuals who abuse opiates become tolerant to the prescribed dosage and end up taking increased amounts of the drug to achieve a particular desired high. And to augment the high they receive from the opiate painkillers, most individuals choose to use other CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines or alcohol. While this option may cause a greater high, the effects of combining two or more CNS depressants can cause devastating health effects such as an overdose or death.

Opiate addiction and withdrawal are serious conditions that call for the skills of qualified medical personnel to safely detox.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Many drug addictions are often accompanied by co-occurring mental disorders. Among the most prevalent co-occurring disorders are:

• Bipolar disorder
• Anxiety disorders
• Depressive disorders
• Schizophrenia
• Conduct disorders
• Antisocial personality disorder
• Borderline personal disorder

Statistics of Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Opioid addiction and abuse have increased significantly from the 1990s until today. The increase of the opiate addicts is proportional to the availability of high-purity heroin. Thus, abusers can get high by smoking or snorting heroin rather than using IV injection.

Between 1999 and 2006, the people aged 12 and above using opioids for non-medical purposes escalated from 2.65 million to 5.31 million. In 2006, 5.3 million people reported using heroin in the past month. Nearly five million people in the US are affected by opioid addiction, and over 17,000 of this population die each year due to addiction-related incidents.

Effects of Opioid Addiction

The effects of opiate addiction can be adverse and devastating to everyone involved. It affects all the parts of the addict’s life. Some of these effects include:

• Loss of jobs
• Incarceration
• Divorce
• Bleeding ulcers
• Domestic abuse
• Homelessness
• Financial ruin
• Liver damage
• Kidney damage
• Damage to major organs
• Seizures
• Damage to brain functioning and structure
• Damage to memory formation
• Overdose
• Coma
• Death