What Are Opiates?

Opiates are a class of drugs that are mainly used for addressing and treating pain in patients, but have become a significant. All opiates are derived from opium, which is a natural derivative of the poppy plant, specifically the pod. This family of drugs goes by a number of names, including narcotics, opiates and opioids. Within this family of drugs, codeine, heroin and morphine also referred to as Oxycontin. The Recovery Network Center has resources available to clients and their families directly dealing with the facts of opiate abuse and opiate addiction.

Why are opiates so addicting?

Many people are prescribed opiates by physicians to treat and control temporary pain. Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are some of the most widely prescribed painkillers following injury, illness and surgery. When the medication is used as directed for short periods of time, the addiction rates are quite low. Higher doses, or longer windows of use, often combined with other social or psychological factors, can lead to misuse and abuse. When these higher doses are used recreationally, the risk of addiction is alarming.

Opiates in high doses can quickly become extremely addicting. Prescription drug abuse and the resulting addiction bring many clients to The Recovery Center Network each month. Heroin addiction and chemical dependency are on the rise in Orange County, California. Our drug rehab network is free of charge to clients and their families, and provides an invaluable service linking users with treatment programs and rehab centers that fit their individual needs.

Misuse or overuse of opiates can contribute to a strong psychological and physical dependancy. Opiate thresholds, or tolerance levels, quickly level off, leading users to continually increase their consumption. Often we have clients contact us for rehab referral who became heavy users after a short time because the withdrawal was too difficult to navigate alone. The physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal can range from mild to life threatening, depending on the level of addiction and client medical history.

The mental and emotional components of opiate addiction fierce and unrelenting for some users. Many opiate addicts contribute their dependency to the feelings of freedom, euphoria and relaxation when using. How this opiates achieve this high is by binding to specific pain receptors in the brain, blocking messages sent by the body. Since this family of drugs works by altering the brains response to pain, psychological addiction is quite common.

Opiate abuse, narcotic addiction and opioid dependance are all serious issues. The Recover Center Network has the largest database of substance abuse programs in Orange County, California. Inpatient and outpatient programs are specifically designed to help clients and their support systems deal with addiction and abuse. Contact us today to find out more about programs in your area.

There are distinctions between narcotic abuse, addiction and dependence. All of these problems, however, can have very serious short and long term consequences. Fortunately, there are many inpatient and outpatient programs designed to treat opiate addiction. A period of detoxification is common due to the extreme effects that opiate have on the human body.

Common Opiates

The following is a list of common opiates and their generic names arranged in potency order starting with the lowest and ending with the most powerful.

Codeine
Hydrocodone – Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Lorcet
Morphine – MS-Contin, Roxanol, RMS
Oxycodone – OxyContin, Percocet, OxyIR
Hydoromorphine – Dilaudid, Exalgo
Fentanyl – Duragesic, Fentora, Actiq

Opiate Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal can be extreme and unrelenting. It is important to remember that withdrawal from opiates is not usually life threatening unless there is a combination of drugs in the body at once. For example, withdrawal from alcohol and some opiate drugs can be dangerous.

Common Opiate withdrawal symptoms include the following:

Irritability, Agitation and Anxiety, Insomnia.
Nasal congestion, Runny nose, Teary eyes
Alternating Hot and cold sweats, Goose bumps
Yawning
Muscle aches, pains and cramps
Nausea, Abdominal cramping, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Very high doses of opiates can cause cardiac and respiratory arrest, resulting in death. Tolerance to the euphoria and freeing effects of opiates develops more quickly than amy adverse side effects. This fact is the main reason people overdose by accident, seeking a high not achieved before or trying to maintain their high.

Opiate overdoses can be managed and medically reversed with intravenous Naltrexone. Should you feel that you have taken more than your prescribed dosage and are a risk of overdose, call for emergency help.

Withdrawal from opiates can last from a week to a month, depending on the dosage and length of addiction. Emotional symptoms can remain longer, as opiates affect the brains ability to send and receive pain signals.

Signs you may be addicted to Opiates:

Have you increased your opiate use over time outside the supervision of your medical care practitioner?
Do you experience withdrawal symptoms that preclude you from stopping?
Do you find yourself focusing on your use and fixated on your next high?
Are you unable to control your dosing?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you should contact The Recovery Center Network now to begin your treatment.

Looking for a solid, reputable Recovery Program?

The Recovery Center Network has an incredible free resource ready for you. Simply contact us to talk about breaking the cycle of shame and guilt you currently live in. Surround yourself with people who are going through exactly what you are. Find out more about the other resources available to you, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Reach out to the ones you love and ask for help. Start your recovery journey today.