What Causes Opiate Addiction?
Opiate addiction is one of the most troublesome problems that plague the modern society. In fact, the increasing numbers of drug dependents being treated in several opiate addiction rehab centers is a testament to the severity of the problem. Actually, the term opiate generally refers to any of the narcotic opioid alkaloid derived from the opium poppy plant, or its semi-synthetic chemical derivatives. Some of the rather well-known opiates are morphine, heroin and codeine.
Most of these opiates are used as pain medications, particularly for those who suffer from painful chronic ailments such as degenerative spinal disease, or prescribed by doctors to patients to reduce the pain brought about by an injury or surgery. Unfortunately, these opiates are potentially addictive and there is a huge chance that patients who are under these types of pain medications will be hooked on the drug.
There are a lot of factors why patients fall victim to opiate addiction. Some patients who have been using opiate to alleviate their pain have the tendency of getting used to the level of comfort that these drugs accord that the slightest feeling of pain would drive them to immediately administer opiate to their body. Overtime, the patient finds it difficult to cope with his daily activities without getting the high that these opiates provide. While patients may realize that they are gradually becoming addicted to opiate, withdrawing from the drugs all by themselves can be very difficult. This is because withdrawal symptoms, which are usually accompanied by intense restlessness, goose bumps, muscle spasms, insomnia, anxiety, tremors, muscle and bone ache, diarrhea, and vomiting, can be difficult to handle.
Nevertheless, undergoing these withdrawal symptoms should not be a hindrance to the patient’s desire to end his opiate addiction, particularly if he had been hooked to the drug for quite some time. Bear in mind that administering excessive amounts of opiates to the body can cause permanent damage to various organs, to the extent of causing instantaneous death. This is why it is better to seek treatment from an opiate addiction rehab center in order to shake off the dependence on the drug.
Opiate addiction rehab centers often start with a detoxification process, which may include the administration of decreasing doses of other medications that are related to the original abused drug, to facilitate the gradual withdrawal of the patient. This process allows the abused opiate to leave the patient’s system, at the same time, accord the body some latitude in making adjustments to changes caused by the absence of the drug.
It should be understood, however, that opiate dependence treatment does not stop with the conclusion of the detoxification process at the opiate addiction rehab center. Psychological treatment, sometimes coupled with mild medications, should also follow in order for the patient to fortify his defenses against opiate temptation. This is to make sure that he will not be sliding back again into opiate addiction.