Opiates are a powerful narcotic that are intended for prescription by medical professionals only. Opiates are generally prescribed following surgical procedures or endoscopic procedures. Primary types of opiates include:
Opiates are potentially habit-forming, particularly in individuals with a history of a substance abuse problem. Recent statistics reflect the fact that an increased number of teenagers and young adults are experimenting with prescription pain killers. Although it is positive to note that illicit drug use is on the decline among young adults, it is disturbing that prescription pill use is on the rise.
There are a certain degree of rumors surrounding prescription pills that may be contributing to the rise in opiate intake by young adults. Some people believe that because opiates are a class of drugs that are prescribed by a doctor, they must be safe. Unfortunately, this is simply untrue. Physicians prescribe opiates with a great degree of discretion. Physicians also warn patients to take the medicine only as prescribed. Teens and young adults who take opiates without a prescription risk:
- Liver damage
- Accidents and injury from driving under the influence
- Drug overdose
- Spontaneous abortion
- Collapsed veins, HIV/AIDS, and/or hepatitis in the case of intravenous opiate use
- Increased risk of sexually transmitted disease and/or unplanned pregnancy from promiscuity surrounding alcohol and drug abuse
When a teen begins experimenting with opiates, he or she may go on without consequence for a time. At some point, they cross the line from experimentation – into addiction. Once the line has been crossed, individuals face a lifetime struggle of remaining abstinent from drugs. The reason being addiction is a lifelong demon rather than a short-term demon is due to the insidious nature of addiction. Opiate addiction is characterized by a compulsive urges to use opiates, an acquired tolerance to opiates, and a psychological preoccupation with opiates. An individual using opiates despite an onset of negative consequences in their social, academic, and family circles is almost certainly addicted to opiates and in the need of a drug treatment center.
With an increased tolerance of opiates comes the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms when a user suddenly stops popping pills. When someone is expressing a need to take opiates, rather than a desire, this is a clear indication that a substance abuse problem is developing.
When an opiate addict suddenly stops using opiates, they incur a backlash of symptoms. Cessation of opiate use after a period of consistent usage induces painful and unpleasant physical reactions. Symptoms of opiate withdrawal from opiate dependence include:
- Constipation and painful stools
- Flu-like symptoms
- Upset stomach
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle and bone pain
- Irritability and mood swings
It is clear that opiate withdrawals are very tough to fight alone. Thus, detoxification from opiates in a medically monitored setting is strongly recommended.