Opiate addiction has been a source of pain and suffering for thousands of years, from the days of ancient Greece to the present. In the United States recent estimates suggest that more than 1 million people abuse heroin on a regular basis and that nearly 2 million people abuse prescription opiates each year, leading to countless deaths due to overdose. Those numbers have risen quickly over the past decade, making opiate dependence an urgent problem for society at large.
An opiate is a type of drug used to relieve pain. Unfortunately, opiates are dangerous drugs with a high risk of addiction because they prevent the body from recognizing pain by interfering with important chemicals in the brain.
Heroin is an illegal opiate, but opiates also include a number of prescribed medications. The list of commonly prescribed opiates, often known as “pain pills,” includes:
Many people believe these drugs are safe because they are prescribed by doctors, and most people use the medications correctly by adhering to their health care providers’ recommendations. However, addiction is more likely to occur when the drugs are misused.
While opiates are used to relieve chronic pain, abusing these drugs can have significant negative effects.
The long-term consequences of opiate abuse may include:
Even in the short term, opiate abuse can cause:
As with other drugs of abuse, opiate addiction is defined as persistent, compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite significant negative consequences.
Common signs of opiate dependence include:
Although opiate addicts suffer from a powerful physical dependence, recovery is possible. At Recovery Associates, our highly trained, multidisciplinary staff is well prepared to help those suffering with opiate dependence through their treatment process.
Treatment with Recovery Associates typically follows three main steps tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual:
Recovery Associates was created around the belief that addiction is a treatable illness. Our staff is committed to helping you and your family through the challenging but worthwhile process of recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate dependence, call one of our care coordinators at 800-392-3180 to get help today. Or, if you prefer, fill out the form to the right, and we will contact you soon.