Opiates have taken on an essential role as pain treatment remedies, providing benefits unlike any other drug type. However, their pain-relieving properties come at a cost; especially for those most susceptible to drug abuse and addiction.
Perhaps one of the biggest risks associated with opiate abuse has to do with the potential for overdose. Once an overdose incident develops, getting needed treatment for opiate overdose can mean the difference between life and death.
Even after a person receives treatment for opiate overdose, the risks don’t go away, but rather increase the longer he or continues to engage in drug abusing practices. For these reasons, it’s important to take certain precautions after receiving treatment for opiate overdose and hopefully take the necessary steps towards getting needed treatment help.
Opiate Effects on the Body
According to the World Health Organization, opiate overdose incidents account for 69,000 deaths per year, worldwide. Interestingly enough, the same mechanisms that provide opiate pain-relieving effects also play a part in causing overdose.
In effect, opiates act as central nervous system depressants, slowing down chemical processes and activities throughout the body. Bodily systems most affected by opiates include:
- Respiratory system
- Cardiovascular system
- Circulatory system
- Digestive system
- Body temperature
More often than not, opiate overdose results from a total shutdown of the body’s respiratory system. Treatment for opiate overdose entails reversing the slowing effects of the drug.
Call our helpline at 800-442-6158 Who Answers? to see if your insurance will help pay your rehab costs.
Tolerance Level Changes
The brain develops a growing tolerance for opiate effects over time. Once a person enters detox, brain tolerance levels drop quickly. Someone who resumes drug use will likely start off at the same dosage levels he or she left off at prior to receiving treatment for opiate overdose. With brain tolerance levels running so much lower than before, the likelihood of having another opiate overdose increases considerably.
Opiate abuse takes a toll on the brain and body, creating a vicious cycle of increasing dosage levels for as long as a person keeps using. Treatment for opiate overdose stops this cycle in its tracks, which creates an incredibly high relapse risk as the brain and body have come to rely on opiate effects to function normally.
While an opiate overdose incident can be frightening to say the least, people struggling with opiate addiction will likely resume drug use in the absence of needed treatment help. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment for opiate overdose only works to reverse the drug’s depressant effects so drug cravings, withdrawal effects and the overall “need” for the drug will be just as strong as ever after an overdose incident. For these reasons, it’s essential a person get some form of drug treatment help as soon as possible.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be at risk of opiate overdose and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-442-6158 Who Answers? to speak with one of our addictions specialists.