Opiate, also known as opioids can be described as a class of drugs that are normally prescribed by the doctors to treat pain. Opiates are of two types, synthetic and natural. The regular opiates are obtained from “opium poppy”—a plant, they are used to make drugs like morphine, codeine, heroin and opium. While the synthetic opiates are the ones which are obtained as a result of processing and they include drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone— that have similar effects.
Despite of being very useful and effective to relieve pain, opiates can be highly addictive if consumed for a prolonged period of time. As per the survey conducted by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), nearly 2.1 million people in the United States of America and around 26.4 and 36 million people worldwide are found to be involved in opiate abuse.
Abuses of many illegal drugs like heroin abuse, are also referred to as opioid abuse. Methadone which is frequently prescribed to treat pain is also an opiate.
But amazingly this drug can also be used to luxury opiate addiction and its withdrawal symptoms. When opiate addicts stop using or reduce the amount of opiates they are using so they may experience physical symptoms of withdrawal.
This is mostly possible among people who have been using opiates as medication at high doses and then stop using them after a few days or weeks. They are at the risk of undergoing many physical complexities. This happens because the system in body gets altered when they consume large amount of opiate for a long period of time.
The effects of withdrawal occur because the body of the victim take time to bounce back to its normal condition or let’s say back to its older condition.
The withdrawal of opiates can be characterized as moderate, mild, moderately severe, and very severe. A drug rehab center can determine this simply by evaluating the patient, the frequency of opioid use, history and symptoms. The drug rehab centers diagnose use special diagnostic tools to evaluate the condition of opiate addict.
Opiates can have very harmful effects on the body of the user if he/she continues to use if for long time. The opiates get attached to the receptors present inside the brain, spinal cord, and the gastrointestinal tract of human body. Whenever the dose of opiates is attached to these receptors, they leave their long term effects. Our brain is able to produce its own opioids, which are in control for a complete host of effects, which includes lowering the respiration rate, decreasing pain, and even preventing anxiety and depression.
When a person takes opiates for a prolonged period, his/her body tends to become desensitized to any kind of effects. As the times passes by, his/her body starts craving for high doses of opiates for the maximum level of pleasure and satisfaction. This situation can be highly dangerous for the opiate addict or heroin addict. If the drug addict is not given the addiction treatment at an early stage then victim may run the risk of accidental overdose.
The way nerve receptors work in the brain of the victim can be completely changed by the long-term usage of these medicines. These receptors starts to depend upon the drug to help the brain function. If opiate abuser becomes physically sick after he/she stops taking or reduces the amount of opiate medication, then it may have an indication that he/she can’t lead normal life without opiate intake.
The symptoms experienced by the victim completely depend on the stage of withdrawal they are experiencing.
The Early stage symptoms can be typically observed within the first 24 hours after the patient stop using the drug.
Though the most painful and unpleasant symptoms usually start to improve within the first 72 hours, and rehab centers suggest that within a week the patient should notice a significant decline in the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
If women used opiates during their pregnancies, They may also go through the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include:
It’s important to keep in mind that various drugs stay in the systems of the drug addicts for different time lengths and can have different withdrawal experiences. The period of time these symptoms totally depends on the severity of addiction, frequency of usage, also on the overall health of the victim.
Some rehab centers point out that after the addiction treatment the period of recovery needs minimum six months of total after care, in which the patient may still experience some symptoms of withdrawal. This condition is sometimes called “protracted abstinence.”
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