Opioids are one of the most commonly abused drugs out there. They come in many forms and they have a multitude of legal and illegal uses. They are also one of the most dangerous classes of drugs and have some of the most severe effects on users. Please consider the reasons why you should seek treatment for your opiate addiction today and call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? for help.
Side Effects From Drug Use
In a medical setting, opiates are usually prescribed for the treatment of pain, but they can be used to help suppress severe coughing, sedate patients, and help cure diarrhea. Most of these functions are from the drug’s side effects.
Opiates affect the body’s opioid receptors, which control pain response and the sensation of reward—characterized as the high that many opiate users experience. Opiates often cause a decrease in physical activity and respiratory function, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, constipation, and constricted pupils.
Addiction in general can be a result of or the cause of the development of additional conditions. During diagnosis and treatment, these are often referred to as co-occurring conditions and they make things a bit more complicated. They are sometimes called dual diagnoses and, according to SAMHSA, around 7.9 million adults were diagnosed with a co-occurring or dual diagnosed in 2014.
Common co-occurring conditions include mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. These conditions often need their own treatment in addition to the treatment for the addiction, and pose their own risks if left untreated.
Risk of Overdose
The DEA states that overdosing from opioids are fairly common and that they can be potentially fatal. When they enter a person’s body, opiates first affect the brain stem, which controls most of the body’s life-sustaining functions. When an overdose happens, the brain stem can become overloaded with the drug and have a negative outcome.
Any opiate user can be at risk of an overdose, no matter how careful they are, because there is no way to predict how the body will respond to a drug. Evidence of an overdose may include convulsions, confusions, extreme drowsiness, clammy skin, breathing issues, and constricted pinpoints. Overdose can also lead to coma and death, and they should not be taken lightly.
Permanent, Debilitating Damage
The longer a person uses opiates, the more damage the drug can cause and the harder it becomes to repair it. According to the NIDA, addiction’s impact can be long-lasting and far-reaching. While opiates primarily affect the brain stem and the body’s pain response, the effects can radiate out to any part of the person’s body.
Damage from opiate use can be done to nearly every organ and system in the body. In cases where the user is a pregnant woman, the damage can spread to the fetus, causing birth defects and even causing the child to become addicted. Depending on the method a person uses to take the drug, they can expose themselves to diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, which all have severe consequences.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please know that help is available. Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? for the opportunity to speak with one of our caring specialists about your treatment options.