Opiate addiction is a horrible experience for the addict and their loved ones. Opiates are known for being one of the most addictive drugs, both psychologically and physically. The state of euphoria that opiates put people into is highly addictive in its own right, but when a person has become addicted to a prescription opiate, tapering off of it is an extremely hard process.
Opiates are derived from opium, which comes from poppies. They may consist of pure opium, synthetic opiates like Oxycontin or close relatives of opium such as morphine. Opiates are dangerous because they require their user to use ever increasing amounts in order to continue feeling its effects. This applies to people seeking a mind altering state and people seeking relief from pain. This builds a tolerance within a person initially and a dependence within the person ultimately.
Once a person is physically dependent on opiates, meaning the natural opioid sensors in their body do not know how to function without continually receiving opiates, quitting is extremely difficult on a number of levels. Not only are the feelings of relief and escape through opiates addictive in their own right, but the withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting or reducing opiate intake are severe, and can include nausea, vomiting, digestion problems, sleep problems, inability to regulate temperature and extreme mood fluctuation.
Detoxing from opiates is something that should be overseen by medical professionals. Do not attempt to quit opiates without medical supervision because the side effects can be very dangerous. Medication that counteracts the effects of opiate withdrawal is necessary in order to detox safely, as well as a medical professional available to assist in the event of seizure, fainting or illness.
Opiate addiction is a devastating condition, but there is hope for opiate addicts. Thousands of people have pushed through the withdrawal from opiates and recovered from their addiction under the care of addiction treatment professionals. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an opiate addiction, do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction treatment specialist that suits your needs.