While many people take opiates regularly in the form of common pain killers such as vicodin and percocet, many people may not realize that these legal prescription drugs can be just as powerful and addicting as morphine and even heroin. Opiates are used to treat chronic pain and provide temporary relief to those suffering from debilitating illnesses and disease. Opiates are also used to help decrease anxiety, stabilize mood and lessen the symptoms of insomnia. However, while opiates are particularly effective in suppressing pain and reducing anxiety, they also come with the risk of addiction and dependency.
Opiate Addiction And Dependency
Opiates can be found in several legal and illegal drugs including heroin, morphine, oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, and are said to be some of the most addicting substances in the world. The reason why opiates are so addicting is because of the way that long term opiate use chemically changes the make-up of the brain. Opiates create artificial endorphins in the brain, which produces their pain relieving, euphoric effect. However, because some opiates create over 100 times more endorphins than the brain does, it can have a profound effect on the way the brain creates endorphins on it “s own. After long term use, the brain will become completely dependent on the opiates to create this natural pain relieving chemical, and severe withdrawal symptoms will begin to set in.
Opiate Dependency and Detox
Once the brain has become completely dependent on opiates, the individual will begin to have moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms if they have not recently taken the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from 24-48 hours, even up to a week. In some cases opiate withdrawal symptoms have lasted sporadically for months at a time. These symptoms can even be so severe that individuals will continue using and using the drug just to avoid these symptoms altogether. In cases of moderate to severe withdrawal, the best option is for the individual to seek out some form of medical or naturally opiate detox program.
There are many different types of opiate detoxification programs available. If the individual cannot detox naturally by quitting the drug cold turkey, they can go to an inpatient or outpatient clinic for a medically assisted detox program. These detox centers will mainly use either two different drugs, Methadone or Suboxone, to assist in the detox process.
These drugs will work to neutralize the opiates in your body and block any other opiates from entering your system. These drugs can help aid in the drug detox process by controlling your moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. However, because these drugs contain partial opiates as well, they can also come with the risk of addiction and dependency.