According to the latest report of The National Institute of Drug Abuse for Disease Control, the United States is facing an opioid epidemic.  Every day, nearly 130 people die due to an overdose on these highly addictive prescription drugs.  The addiction and misuse of opioids that includes pain relievers, prescription drugs, synthetic opioids, and heroin have continued to become a national crisis. This crisis does affect not only public health but also economic and social welfare.

The center of disease control has estimated that the economic burden of opioid misuse has reached $78.5 billion in the United States per year. This includes lost productivity, healthcare costs, and addiction treatment. Often started as prescribed medication for pain; it turns into addiction in no time. As you can see, addiction to opiates often start out innocent and progress quickly.  Patients using them get involved in an unhealthy relationship with opioids and find themselves inexplicably addicted.

Seeking help from an opiate addiction treatment center is an ideal way to rid yourself of this substance use disorder. However, before that, it is crucial to understand opiate addiction and how it works.

What are Opiates?

Opioids are synthetic painkillers derived from the poppy plant. Opiate is the common term for medications that include opium poppy products. Heroin, for example, is an opiate that physicians used to prescribe to relieve chronic pains from surgeries, injuries, toothache, or any other dental or medical procedure. Many studies show that long-term use of opiates as a painkiller is ineffective, and often results in high-intensity addiction.

Despite these medical reservations, you would be surprised to know that American physicians write 80% of their prescriptions for opiates. This trend explains why opiate use has become an epidemic in America.  That means people who are addicted to opiates start with legal, medical prescriptions after a surgery or accident.  It’s common for physicians to prescribe opiates to alleviate chronic pain.

Woman considers going to an opiate addiction treatment center

Following are the commonly prescribed opiate drugs:

The critical issue with these drugs that makes its excessive use dangerous is a high-level of dependency and lack of tolerance to them. The more you seek out the pills, the larger the dose size will become.  When buying the prescribed drugs becomes unaffordable for the people addicted to opioids, they often turn to a cheaper solution “heroin,” which is not only more potent but also much more dangerous.

It does not end here, over time, both the brain and body adapt to opiate drugs.  Also, when an addict skips their doses, they experience notoriously uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These intolerable symptoms are what keep addicts from seeking opiate addiction treatment.

How Do Opiates Work?

Opiate molecules travel through the blood to reach the brain where they attach to specific receptors of certain brain cells.  These attached molecules trigger a response in the reward center of the brain. It gives the reaction of intense pleasure and helps the brain reinforce acts like drinking fluids, eating, and having sexual intercourse, anything considered necessary for human survival.

All these survival-based activities release the neurotransmitter dopamine within the reward center of the brain. However, this dopamine release, like many other drugs, is in an excess amount, which is far beyond the quantity you need to stay alive. This activates the brain’s signals as some important activity does and increases the urge to repeat the process.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms and Side Effects

If you’re taking prescription painkillers responsibly, there are fewer chances of you becoming an opiate addict.  Your risk of drug dependence is higher if you have a family history of drug abuse. However, the nonmedical use of opiates can cause the following symptoms:

  • Coma or drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Psychological and behavioral changes
  • Impaired memory
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Extreme cravings
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia and fatigue

These withdrawal symptoms make getting rid of drugs a cumbersome task. This is one of the reasons why our addiction experts in Crest View Recovery Center never recommend their patients to try detox on their own. It may increase the risks of detrimental health problems and relapse.

However, preventing these symptoms is possible if you opt for medically supervised detox treatment. CVRC, with its collaborated detox facility partner, can help its clients recover from opiate addiction. You can enroll in an opiate rehab center to not only recover from physical addiction but you will also receive counseling for the mental dependence.

Opiate Addiction Rehab Center

Located in the heart of Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, CVRC can help you achieve sustainable sobriety. Our comprehensive program models, such as reality-based therapy solidify the approach of addiction treatment. We believe in replicating real-life situations when it comes to overcoming substance abuse.

For this, we try all our avenues to make our clients see beyond the spectrum of an addicted life. We help them realize that they deserve a better life than what they are currently living.  Through our instructional program, we incorporate life skills into our clients to prepare them for real-life challenges. We engage them in healthy activities such as grocery shopping, hiking, and mini-golf.

Moreover, our treatment programs include psychotherapy and dual diagnosis treatment. We accomplish our program goals with the help of the continual care model.  In the initial stage of our rehab program, clients are required to stay in our rehab center for at least 35 to 40 days. After that, we enroll them in our intensive outpatient program.  The structured process is beneficial in setting off clients on the journey of successful recovery.

In addition to this, with our Alumni program, we also monitor the recovery of individuals once the treatment is over.

Do not let opiate addiction win in the battle of your life. Know that you deserve a happy and healthy life and Crest View Recovery Center can help you do that with its quality care treatments and competent medical specialist.  Call us at 866.327.2505 today to jump-start your opiate addiction treatment.

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.