When a person is given an opiate for pain, such as morphine, or prescribed an opioid for pain such as OxyContin, they may begin to develop an opiate tolerance if they continue to take the drug for long periods of time. Some people, such as people who suffer from cancer, are obligated to take opiates for long periods of time to help them deal with the pain, whereas other people abuse opiates and take them recreationally for their euphoric effects.
Whether legally or illegally taken opiates help a person block pain and relax a person through their sedative properties. When a person develops an opiate tolerance they will no longer feel the same effects from the drug, which can cause them to relapse to other problems they were dealing with before they took the drug.
Dangers of Relapse from Opiate Tolerance
A relapse occurs when a person’s state of health deteriorates after an improvement has occurred. There are different ways in which a person can relapse from building a tolerance to opiates. First, if a person is taking opiates due to a painful disease, such as cancer, and builds a tolerance to the drug, they will begin to feel that excruciating pain that comes with the disease again even when they are taking opiates to help ease the pain. This can cause an individual to relapse into depression, which many cancer patients have before treatment, or relapse into a very poor health state causing them to feel sicklier.
According to www.updates.pain-topics.org, previous research has demonstrated a clearly negative influence of chronic pain on health. Now, a new study portrays a profound link between severe chronic pain and death; inflicting nearly a 70% greater mortality risk than even cardiovascular disease.
Severe pain induces stress and large amounts of stress can significantly impact a person’s overall health, which is why painkillers are prescribed to people who are experiencing severe pain. Another way a person can relapse when building an opiate tolerance is to experience mental health illnesses from the lessened effects of the drug.
If a person is dealing with intense pain they may experience, insomnia, anxiety, or depression and once they began to take opiates to help them with the pain their symptoms of their mental illness may have went away. This is not always the case but pain can cause a person to experience mental ailments. In addition to the pain killing effects of opiates they also cause a sedative effect to occur throughout a person’s body by depressing their nervous system. If a person has developed a tolerance to opiates their body will no longer feel that sedative affect the drug induces, which can cause them to relapse to a more painful state both mentally and physically.
Although many people abuse opiates, they are very helpful to people who need them for pain, and if a person builds too high of a tolerance to the drug they may relapse to a worse health state and should seek out help from a treatment program.