An untimely injury, a car accident, surgery – any one of these scenarios may require the help of prescription pain pills to get you through. Opiates, such as codeine, Percocet and Vicodin do an excellent job at relieving pain symptoms, fast and effectively.
As pain relief agents, opiate drugs reduce the amount of inflammation at the affected area so the body’s natural repair mechanisms can do their job. Before long, the area heals and pain symptoms subside, but you’re still taking the pills. What’s happened here?
Maybe the pill bottle directions say to keep taking two or three pills a day for a month, or two months. Or maybe you just want to keep taking them just in case pain symptoms flare up. Or maybe the pills also produce a sense of calm and contentment you’d like to hold onto for a little longer.
After a certain point, opiate effects can take on a life their own without a person’s even knowing it. For these reasons, it’s important to keep tabs on what role opiate effects fill in your daily life to avoid falling into the addiction trap.
The Opiate Abuse Cycle
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription pain pills should only be used on a short-term basis, not to exceed three months at a time. While it may seem as if anything prescribed by a physician should be safe, prescription opiates carry a high risk for abuse and addiction.
Reasons to keep taking a prescription opiate may make sense at the time; however, the effects of opiates work behind the scenes, changing the way your brain works, including how it thinks. In the process, opiate effects weaken brain functions over time, making them increasingly dependent on the drug. These changes set the drug abuse cycle in motion.
For information on available treatment options, call 800-584-3274 Who Answers? .
Signs that Opiate Effects Are Taking Over Your Life
Withdrawal episodes entail unpleasant opiate effects that develop out of the damage done to the brain’s chemical processes. Symptoms commonly associated with withdrawal include:
- Problems sleeping
- Muddled thinking
If you’re taking an extra drug dose or larger dosage amounts to relief these symptoms, the opiate abuse cycle has begun.
Using Opiate to Take the “Edge” Off
Opiates not only do a great job at relieving pain; they also have mood-enhancing effects that can come in handy for someone who has a stress-ridden lifestyle. In this case, it can be incredibly easy to use opiates as a way to better cope with a hectic day. Using opiate effects as a means for coping with daily life all but paves the way for opiate addiction to take hold.
Neglecting Important Life Areas
In spite of the calming effects these drugs bring, opiate effects can warp your judgement and decision-making abilities over time, according to State University of New York. This means, major life areas may be suffering, such as a person’s work performance or relationships and he or she doesn’t even notice it. At this point, opiates have taken over a person’s life.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with opiate effects and have more questions, or need help locating treatment services in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-584-3274 Who Answers? to speak with one of our addictions specialists.