It’s always helpful to start with the basics. Opiates refer to any substances derived from the opium found in the poppy plant. They are often thought of as natural, due to the fact that their active ingredients are found in nature, and not manufactured by chemical synthesis. Two of the more common opiates are morphine and codeine, both of which are made directly from poppy plants. Opioids on the other hand are synthetic substances, or at least partly synthetic, and are manufactured through chemical synthesis. Despite these differences, the two terms are often used interchangeably, because of their similar molecular structure, and the fact that they have a similar analgesic effect on the human body. The most notorious opiate of them all is heroin, which is ironic seeing as how it is technically an opioid because it is chemically manufactured. The biggest thing opiates and opioids have in common, of course, is the insidious ease with which their users can develop an addiction to them. And once an opiate addiction has formed, it can be one of the most difficult addictions to treat, and from which to recover.
Slipping Into an Opiate Addiction
Among the many reasons opiates are so readily habit forming are the numerous pleasant effects that result from taking these substances. From almost the moment an opiate is ingested, the user will experience a range of pleasant sensations, including euphoria, a sweeping sense of relaxation, and a warm flushing of the skin. Whether they come in the form of a prescription painkiller like Vicodin, or a street drug like heroin, opiates can be habit-forming because of all these undeniably appealing effects. The downside, though, will be found sooner rather than later if and when the habit turns into a full blown opiate addiction. Whereas a heroin addiction may sound more harrowing because of the illegal nature of the drug, the truth is a prescription pill addiction is every bit as damaging. Consider the following:
– Prescription pill addiction is a growing epidemic.
– Research shows that over 15 million people develop an addiction to pain medications each year.
– Of those, 29,000 died last year.
– Prescription pill overdoses kill more people each year than heroin and cocaine.
– Nationwide, opiate overdoses have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental deaths.
Opiate Addiction Treatment at Axis West
If you or a loved one is struggling with an opiate addiction, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease like any other… and it can be treated. There’s also no shame if you think you may have become addicted to your medication(s). The nature of many opiate-based medications prescribed are highly addictive, and even under the best of circumstances, addiction is a possibility. At Axis Treatment West, we offer affordable, comprehensive, reliable treatment for all walks of life. We facilitate medically supervised detoxification (source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000949.htm), along with a comprehensive array of clinical and therapeutic services custom-tailored to suit the specific needs of our clients.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an opiate addiction, please don’t let another day go by without getting help. Contact one of our admissions specialists today at 866-737-4962 to find out if Axis West has the right program for you.