Opiate and opioid drugs are intensely addictive, highly dangerous and can be potentially fatal. The opioid family includes the naturally occurring opiates morphine and codeine, as well as their synthetic and semi-synthetic derivatives. These include heroin, methadone and a variety of prescription pain medications.
Our treatment center has experienced an explosion of opiate using patients in the last 20 years. This influx is linked to the rise in popularity of oxycodone based prescription drugs like OxyContin.
Clinical Experience With Opiate Addiction Recovery
Balboa Horizons’ clinical team is highly trained to deal with the challenges involved with opiate addiction treatment. A controlled and medically supervised detoxification will be necessary and the intensity of withdrawal will depend on the duration and amount of opioid use. However, detoxification is not a complete solution. Most addicts will eventually resume using opioids unless they receive further help.
Opioids enhance the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain called endorphins to suppress pain, reduce anxiety and, at sufficient levels, produce euphoria. After any period of continual use, nerve receptors adapt to these drugs, leading to an increased tolerance. As tolerance and dosage increases, the brain will cease to produce its own natural endorphins.
Opiate Detox Symptoms
At this point, the abrupt absence of opioid drugs will induce withdrawal syndrome as the body tries to compensate. Symptoms include agitation, anxiety, tremors, muscle aches, hot and cold flashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Once this dependence has been established, the user is in a seriously high-risk situation. Professional help should be sought immediately.
Examples of opioid drugs include.
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Lorcet)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Meperdine (Demerol)
- Propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet)
Opiates are Popular Today
The rising popularity of prescription pain medications has made opioid addiction an alarming epidemic. Although heroin has been the long-time favorite among opiate users due to its high potency, prescription medications like vicodan, oxycontin (known to users as “legal heroin”) and the recently developed opana are equally dangerous.
What begins as legitimate pain management can quickly progress into full-blown opioid addiction. As prescription dosages become insufficient, users often utilize alternate methods of consumption including smoking, snorting or intravenous injection, highly raising the risk of overdose or infectious diseases like Hepatitis C or HIV. Many will turn to illegal methods of obtaining stronger opioids like oxycontin and opana and may eventually graduate to more affordable and obtainable street drugs like heroin.
Balboa Horizons has extensive experience treating men and women suffering from opioid addiction. As many addicts tend to conceal, minimize or rationalize their addictions, we work to break down these barriers to recovery with a caring and holistic approach. We understand that addictions of this type involve a multitude of physical, emotional, legal, financial and social consequences. We are here to personally help clients process the devastation associated with their addictions so that healing can occur and lives may be rebuilt.
We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction, please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at: