The American love affair with pain medication has caused a significant increase in the number of people experiencing addiction to both legal and illegal opiates. Studies show that approximately 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, over 50% use two and at least 20% take up to five every day. Whether for medical or non-medical reasons, some of these individuals begin consuming these opiates as early as 12 years of age.
In her opiate addiction recovery story, Susannah recalls that she first began using these drugs at the age of twelve. “I became heavily addicted to opiates before graduating high school, and using became the only way I knew how to function” she said. According to Susannah, she battled with addiction for many years.
Today, Susannah says that she is beyond grateful for treatment that rescued her from the destructive cycles of addiction. Opiates are psychoactive compounds such as morphine and codeine that is found naturally in the opium poppy plant. Some of the most commonly abused opiates include drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl to name a few. All opiates, are recognized as addictive and therefore has a high potential for abuse.
The development of opiate addiction occurs from consuming more than is legally prescribed, using it for an extended period of time or for purely recreational purposes. People with addiction to opiates can experience a wide spectrum of side effects including but not limited to:
Every opiate addiction success story inevitably begins with the recognition that something must change in order for the abuse to stop. Unfortunately, this often motivate sudden cessation from habituated drug use which can plunge users into extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, hot and cold sweats and anxiety among others. To alleviate the discomfort, many people simple resume drug use and the memory of this experience often become a deterrent to any effort to quitting in the future. With professional treatment, these fears are easily mitigated. The detox program for overcoming opiate addiction is designed to:
The duration of opiate withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable. As such, it would not be an anomaly for a patient to experience withdrawal symptoms for a week or even as long as a month after drug use has been halted. Detoxification represents the first stage of recovery followed a comprehensive continuum of care. The drug rehabilitation phase typically comprises a number of evidence-based treatment protocols and includes identifying the root causes of the addiction, treatment for any underlying mental disorders that may be co-occurring with the addiction as well as pharmacological intervention if necessary and various other therapeutic services.
Like all substances of abuse, opiate addiction is a progressive condition that can result in serious impairment to important neurological functions. Overtime, the individual’s drug use patterns of behavior becomes obsessive and compulsive which is the primary characteristic of addiction. As such, drug use that goes untreated can result in serious debilitating illnesses and overdose deaths. With timely treatment however, this does not have to occur. Many individuals like Susannah can attest to the fact it is possible to experience full recovery and sustainable sobriety, even after long term use of and addiction to opiates.
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