The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recorded over half a million deaths between the years 1999 and 2019. The reason for this alarming mortality rate is the addictive use of various kinds of opiates.
The situation has even gotten worse despite this observation by the CDC and concise efforts to combat the abuse of these drugs. Speaking of measures, various administrations have made it a point of duty to increase the sentence of people that illegally produce, sell, and even use these drugs. On that note, many people have bagged jail time for this reason.
Also, several rehabilitation clinics have become operational all across the country. Some of them have recorded huge success in terms of patronage and successfully helping addicts overcome the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiates. For instance, many rehabilitation centers that offer opiate detox in Houston have recorded huge success.
In this article, we will discuss subjects revolving around the use of opiates. The information here will especially help patients that need these substances to deal with pain.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are very strong psychoactive substances that are gotten from opium. This is a naturally occurring chemical primarily in the seed of the poppy plant. It can also be gotten from other parts other than the seed of the plant.
The Importance of Opiates
Drugs that fall under this category are considered prescription drugs by the FDA. This means they are not supposed to be sold over the counter like other regular drugs. Rather, they should only be sold or given as prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.
The tendency to get addicted to these substances and the damaging effects is the reason why the FDA has tagged them as prescription drugs. However, this is also because of the major benefits that using it under certain circumstances can offer.
Opiates have very strong pain-killing properties that can help people experiencing certain kinds of pain. For instance, it is helpful for people that are dealing with cancer-related pain. Also, people experiencing the pain and inflammations that come with major surgeries may be placed on opiates.
More often than not, this painkilling treatment is mostly prescribed for short-term conditions. For long-term conditions like arthritis, the situation has to be critically reviewed. This is because using these substances in the long term can alter the brain’s natural response to pain and cause untold damage.
Circumstances that can Lead to Opiate Addiction
There are many reasons people end up overly dependent on opiates. However, we have identified two major reasons. These are illegal purchases of these substances and wrong prescriptions.
For us, the latter is more devastating because it starts with a sincere motive to get better. The medical professional in question prescribes more than the required dose of opiates to the patient that needs help.
As a result, the patient gets hooked on the drug and finds it difficult to withdraw. There are many instances where this is the case. If you are interested in learning from a patient’s experience, you can watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMchXc5lemU
It could also be that the medical professional is ill-equipped with the skill required to help the patient stop the use of the substance. This is why medical practitioners should get all the training required to help patients deal with pain.
Types of Opiates
There are 2 major classes of these substances. They are Agonists and Antagonists. People who use them more than they are required can get addicted to them and have a hard time withdrawing. However, it is more difficult with a certain class than the other.
Typical examples of substances under this class include Naloxone and Naltrexone. Although people can get addicted to these substances, the situation is not as severe as with Agonist substances. As a matter of fact, some rehab clinics make use of drugs under this class to treat people addicted to Agonist substances.
As passively explained above, they are highly addictive. The reason is that they are swift and very good at mimicking the effects of endorphins that are naturally occurring in your body.
As a result of this, there is an interaction with certain receptor sites located in the human brain. Some of the commonly used Agonists in the medical setting are Fentanyl and Morphine. Other examples of substances that belong to this class include hydrocodone, buprenorphine, oxycodone, and heroin.
You should also know that sizable amounts of some of these substances are found in Codeine, Darvon/Darvocet, Dilaudid, Demerol, and some other drugs.
On a Final Note
As a prescription drug, opiates must be only administered when necessary. Also, there is a need for a viable treatment plan that will not get the patient addicted in the long run. This is why the CDC’s guideline needs to be adhered to. For more on this, you can click here.
Also, those that have become over-dependent on these substances need to get professional help. This is because dealing with the withdrawal symptoms can be unbearable, impossible, or even life-threatening for some. So, they need to undergo medical and psychological treatments in a good rehabilitation clinic.