Conquering Substance Abuse: Opiate Addiction Treatment

What Is Opiate Addiction?

Opiate addiction is prescription or illegal drug dependency. Opiates are morphine like drugs that include sedatives, narcotics, and painkillers. Initially many of these drugs are prescribed to a patient to control pain. Opiates are used to ease severe pain and therefore, cause a euphoric like sensation which can create dependency. This leads an individual with a strong desire to repeat the process. Conquering addiction takes strength, willpower, and professional assistance, but it can be accomplished.


What Damage Does It Cause?

When used correctly opioids are used to manage pain. They have a morphine like effect which is numbing. Morphine can slow or completely stop your breathing. It is meant to be a short-term drug that is used under medical supervision. Unfortunately, when abused it can cause physical dependence, restlessness, muscle pain, insomnia, and diarrhea. It can also lead to depression and death. Below is a list of serious effects opiate abuse can have on your body:


  • Stomach Damage
    • Opiates are known for causing constipation. Long term use usually requires the use of laxatives which causes damage to the anus and sphincter.
  • Liver Damage
    • Every drug is processed by the liver. When abused they release high levels of acetaminophen which can cause liver failure.
  • Muscles Damage
    • Opiate abuse can lead to a condition called rhabdomyolysis which causes permanent breakdown of muscle tissue.
  • Kidney Failure
    • Chronic use of opiates can have damaging effects on the kidneys. It can disable the kidneys which can lead to dialysis or the need for a transplant.
  • Lung Failure
    • Opiates slow down your lung function. It causes a person to stop breathing which stops the heart. A lack of oxygen can also lead to permanent brain damage eventually leading to death.


In 2014 more than 5 million people abused opiates. Addiction causes social damage as well. It leads to family problems, monetary issues, and homelessness. It also causes crime and unemployment.


What Are the Treatments?

Opiate addiction is a chronic disease. Breaking free of addiction is difficult and takes time to achieve successfully. There are treatment programs in place to help you conquer your addiction. Treatment options include both medical and psychological help.


There are current breakthroughs on medication that can ease opiate addiction. A newer drug called Buprenorphine, Naloxone and Methadone all aide in helping thousands on the road to recovery. Combining medication, professional help and therapy can help you conquer your addiction.


Although all treatments include group therapy, detoxification, and counseling. Each program handles treatment differently. Choosing the right method should be a decision you make with your doctor’s, loved ones, and therapists. The first step is reaching out and seeking help.


What Is the Statistics On Recovery?

Opioid recovery is difficult, to say the least. Medications like Methadone have been used for many years and have aided in recovery. It is used to prevent symptoms of opioid withdrawal, slowly easing the person out of dependence. Recent studies have confirmed that recovery is possible with the proper care and supervision.


Internationally over 200 million people are addicted to drugs. In a recent study, only 25% of them are still addicted. This study should offer hope for those with substance abuse problems. The odds are you are three times more likely to end your drug addiction!



Overall the road to recovery will take strength and perseverance. Therapy and detoxification will be overwhelming. Knowing that you have options at your disposal can be lifesaving. Speaking to a professional or loved one about your addiction will provide you the emotional support that is vital to recovery and sobriety.

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