Heath Ledger. Elvis Presley. Chris Penn. Anna Nicole Smith. Prince. These are a handful of celebrities that have died from opiate overdoses. These were hugely successful, class-act names that fell prey to the world of prescription painkiller abuse, leading to their untimely deaths.
Opiates are derived from the opium that naturally occurs in poppy plants. Opium has been smoked for thousands of years by local tribes from around the world. Today, opiates are used to manufacture painkilling medications. These powerful prescription drugs include morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
These painkillers must be prescribed by a doctor, as they are not available over-the-counter due to their powerful effects. Opiates are widely abused, with millions of people around the world addicted to some form of prescription painkillers.
Designed to suppress pain, opiate abuse results in full-body highs that leave the addict in a state of complete euphoria.
Unfortunately, opiates are one of the hardest addictions to break due to the severity of withdrawals. The urge to continue abusing these drugs is extremely strong, and recovery needs to take place in a medical facility for a prolonged period of time.
Detoxification for opiates occurs rapidly; the best way to get off these drugs is to do so all at once. While withdrawals are severe, trying to wean an addict off of an opiate is nearly impossible. To replace the body’s craving for narcotics, medications such as Methadone can be used to ease the symptoms a patient will face.
Body aches, mood swings, strong desires for more drugs, explosive diarrhea, severe stomach pains, and fever/body chills are some of the common symptoms of withdrawing from opiate usage.
Inpatient rehab facilities are recommended for those seeking treatment. Any opportunity to possibly gain drugs from the outside world will result in relapse and extended suffering. Having a medical team to monitor and support you during any withdrawal symptoms will be the best route to take. Some patients request medication to ease them to sleep at night while they adjust to a sober nightly routine.
Medical staff will administer medications to aid with opioid cravings, help with better sleep, relieve some of the body aches, and possibly assist with a normal bathroom schedule. Several medications will be administered together to create the most effective treatment choice possible.
Studies have shown that most patients will start abusing prescription painkillers again in the future if they don’t attend long-term therapy to overcome social and mental factors. Maintenance therapy and relapse prevention have both proved to be highly effective at preventing opiate drug abuse after a patient’s initial recovery. Understanding the early warning signs of relapse allows for an ex-abuser to immediately seek further help until the current temptations have passed. Researches have noted that the most intense cravings usually last for only 30 minutes or less, and that if a sober patient can find someone to talk to or something to do for that half hour period, they will avoid the pitfall of relapse for that time.
With opiates, prevention is the most successful option. If you are telling your doctor that you are experiencing pain that you actually are not, or lying about the severity of your pain, these are early warning signs that you are losing control of your addiction. The sooner an opiate addiction can be addressed and treated, the easier it will be. Feeling ashamed to admit your addiction to a friend or family member will only make matters worse. These people love and care for you and will be able to assist you in starting the recovery process.
Don’t let painkillers be the reason your life is cut short. Find an inpatient rehab center and save your life today.