Opiates are among the most commonly abused drugs in the United States today. The opiate addiction epidemic is not as publicized as are addictions to illegal street drugs such as heroin and cocaine, but prescription opiates are often far more accessible and can be just as dangerous to the user as their illicit cousins. Some of the most common opiate abuse symptoms are highly disruptive to the lives of many drug abusers and can even result in overdose and death. While opiate dependence can have extremely negative effects on the body and mind, it is also possible for users to break free of addiction, and Tampa opiate abuse treatment centers offer rehabilitation programs to opiate addicts who seek to reclaim control over their lives. Begin your recovery journey by contacting substance abuse treatment centers in Tampa. Call (813) 262-0168 for more information.
An opiate is a drug derived from the opium poppy. Prescription opiates are generally manufactured and sold legally as painkillers. The opiate, when ingested, attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the user’s perception of pain. Common opiates include Vicodin, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Many legitimate users of opiates develop a dependence upon painkillers. This occurs because the user’s brain adjusts to the presence of the opiate, increasing his tolerance to the effects of the drug. If the user attempts to stop taking the opiate, his brain is forced to readjust, and painful withdrawal symptoms may occur. Users experiencing withdrawal may suffer from agitation, anxiety, physical pain, insomnia, muscle cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Many users who attempt to quit opiates without help return to previous patterns of drug abuse in order to put a stop to their withdrawal symptoms.
When taken as prescribed, opiates can help patients control their pain levels. However, the abuse of an opiate can lead to severe side effects. Opiates generally cause confusion, drowsiness, and lethargy, and an overdose of an opiate can result in shallowness of breath, or hypoxia, a condition that may lead to brain damage. In extreme cases, coma or even death may occur. A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 44 people die every day as a result of opiate overdose. To discuss your options, call Tampa drug and alcohol treatment centers. You can also visit your local Narcotics Anonymous (http://naflorida.org/meetings/) for more support.