Opiate Addiction

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Opiate Addiction

Reflections – Definition of Addiction Types

Opiate, or opioid painkillers are narcotic medications prescribed by a medical doctor to manage pain in many individuals. Opioid narcotics include such medications as codeine, morphine, dihydrocodone, methadone, OxyContin, hydrocodone, and heroin. While opiate painkillers do vary in how powerful the narcotic element of the prescription medication, opiates are sedating painkillers that depress the central nervous system, slow down body functioning, and reduce physical and psychological pain. While many prescription opioid narcotics are used in the manner in which they were intended for the duration prescribed without problems, certain individuals may become addicted to the way in which narcotic painkillers make them feel.

Created from the flower of the opium poppy, opiate narcotics have been used for hundreds of years to treat pain, diarrhea, and sleeplessness. Opiate narcotics act upon the opioid receptors in the central nervous system and the brain. Prolonged usage may lead to brain damage which can stop the body from producing natural opiates – a neurotransmitter called “endorphins.” This can cause the body to become unable to manage pain naturally and lead to high amounts of pain when an individual attempts to quit using.

The treatment for marijuana abuse and dependence has many similarities to treatments for addictions to other drugs. Although there are no medications available specifically for treating marijuana dependence, professional detoxification facilities can provide a safe, supportive place for abusers to get the drug out of their systems.

Medical staff can help ensure that individuals do not hurt themselves, and sedative medications are available in case of severe anxiety or panic attacks.

Following detox, inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation facilities are available depending on the specific needs of the recovering person. Both types of treatment offer counseling and education to help people with addictions to adapt to a drug-free lifestyle. Aftercare programs and peer recovery organizations provide support to avoid future relapses.


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Heroin Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Heroin is a substance that is both illegal and extremely addictive. The substance derives from opium from the poppy plant before it is refined to morphine, then further chemically modified to become heroin. Despite its deserved negative reputation for its high risks, heroin continues to be a commonly abused drug in the US. Heroin is sold and used in a number of forms including white or brown powder, a black sticky substance (tar heroin), and solid black chunks. These different forms of heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected under the skin, into muscle, or directly into the veins.

OxyContin Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Oxycodone is a pain-relieving drug that is prescribed frequently to address moderate to severe pain. The substance is found alone and in combination with other pain relievers in a tablet form. Oxycodone is synthesized, in part, by chemical modification of opioid precursor molecules which are obtained from the opium poppy. Despite being manufactured in a lab, oxycodone impacts the user in ways similar to other legal and illegal opioids. Also, like other opiate and opioid drugs, oxycodone is capable of delivering a powerful high—rendering it a potential drug of abuse for an alarming number of individuals.

Fentanyl Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Fentanyl is one of the strongest opiate drugs on the market. It is not a long-lasting drug so it is often used for surgery recovery and for breakthrough pain—meaning that when a person is already taking an opiate but has temporary pain that breaks through the opiate barrier, they may be given fentanyl.

Time-release formulations for fentanyl provide strong pain relief over time. They come in two forms—a lollipop and a patch. Fentanyl also comes as a small piece of film that can be dissolved under the tongue and a pill meant to be lodged inside the cheek. In hospital settings, fentanyl can be injected. For the individual abusing the drug outside a hospital, this is highly dangerous, as the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose is very small.

Percocet Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Percocet is prescribed for short-term relief of moderate to severe pain that is not typically chronic in nature (i.e., post-surgical pain, pain from a sustained injury, etc.). Like heroin and morphine, Percocet affects the brain and the central nervous system, changing the way the brain perceives pain.

Percocet acts at opioid receptors throughout the body to initiate a cascade of chemical events that, ultimately:

Elicit a dopamine response in key regions of the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the brain's reward system circuitry--instrumental in delivering feelings of pleasure and motivation, as well as reinforcing behaviors that initiated the dopamine release to begin with.

Hydrocodone Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic (painkiller) drug – included in the formulation of many narcotic prescription painkillers that are most often prescribed to control moderate to severe pain. As an opiate drug, it is in the same family as morphine and oxycodone; like many other opioid substances, it has a high potential to lead to dependency and addiction if it is abused. It's indicated for the management of pain that would not be well controlled with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or other, non-narcotic analgesic options. Doctors typically prescribe this drug only for patients with severe pain resulting from surgery, various disease processes or injury.

Morphine Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Morphine is the classic opiate painkiller, the standard by which other opiates are measured. While other opiates are more often the drug of choice of opiate addicts, morphine in pill or liquid form is still sought to satisfy cravings. When a person is either abusing morphine or even taking it properly, they are likely to be constipated. All opiates tend to slow down the ability of the body to eliminate solid wastes so some people on painkillers seek medications that will help them fight constipation. Opiates tend to make a person nauseated and they may vomit after taking the drug. Opiates slow breathing, which is what usually kills a person who has taken too much of the drug. A person on these drugs tends to be sleepy and they may dope off.

Dilaudid Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

There are many opiate painkillers, including morphine, methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Dilaudid’s generic name is hydromorphone. It is another painkiller in the opiate class so the signs and symptoms of use are the same as other opiates. But unlike other opiates, the preferred way to abuse it is with intravenous injection. When abused orally or when snorted, the drug is not as effective as other opiates. But it will addict a person just as effectively as other opiates and when that person is addicted, it will be just as difficult to recover from Dilaudid addiction as from addiction to any other opiate.

Methadone Addiction

Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types

Methadone Hydrochloride is an opioid (a synthetic opiate) that was originally synthesised by German pharmaceutical companies during the Second World War. Methadone was first marketed as ‘Dolophine’ and was used as an analgesic (a painkiller) for the treatment of severe pain. It is still occasionally used for pain relief.Methadone is now primarily used today for the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone are longer-lasting than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone’s effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs.