Opiates are highly addictive drugs derived from the poppy opium plant. Not all opiate drugs are illegal and they are often prescribed to patients who experience severe pain, such as those who have just undergone a surgery. However, its highly addictive nature has made opiates open to abuse. They work by binding themselves to receptors in the brain and spinal cord that control pain. By reducing the sending of pain messages to different parts of the body, patients experience relief from feelings of pain.

What are Opiates?

Opiates, also known as narcotics, are a highly addictive group of drugs obtained from the poppy opium plant. Opiates can range from controlled prescribed medications to illicitly obtained substances. While doctors can prescribe opiate painkillers to patients who experience moderate to severe pain, this makes them open to abuse.

Common examples of opiates include morphine, fentanyl and codeine. Most people are familiar with morphine, which is commonly used to manage severe pain. However, it is also highly addictive and has caused a high number of unintentional drug-related deaths worldwide. Opiates can be introduced into the body through pills and tablets, liquids, nasal sprays or direct injection into the veins.

Opiate Examples


What are the Side Effects of Opiate Addiction?

Opiate addiction can occur unwittingly when a patient deviates from the dosage and frequency advised by their doctor in the mistaken belief that it will speed up their recovery or eliminate pain altogether. Below are some of the side effects of opiate addiction:

  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Weakened immune system

It is important to note that any side effects experienced will depends on several factors such as the strength and dosage of the drug as well as the patient’s health condition.


Understanding Opiate Overdose

Opiate overdose can be fatal. Addicts put themselves at risk for overdosing when they increase the strength and frequency of their opiate intake. As their bodies become accustomed to the chemicals, more has to be taken to achieve the desired effects. Below are the three important signs of opiate overdose:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unconsciousness

If you recognize these signs in a loved one, seek medical assistance immediately. If you or someone you know has been abusing opiates, it is never too early to seek help. Do not delay and put yourself at risk of overdosing, which can prove to be fatal.

How to Treat Opiate Addiction

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications for treating opiate addiction, they are in the process of researching and identifying alternative pain management medications. Rehabilitation centers nationwide utilize a combination of medication treatments, therapies and medically supervised detoxes to help patients break out of chemical dependency.

Why Work with Spark To Recovery?

At Spark To Recovery, we ensure that no client’s condition goes untreated. When you come to us, you can be assured of receiving the highest quality care from our team of doctors, drug addiction treatment experts, therapists and counsellors in a safe and supportive environment.

Start your opiate addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.

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