Opiates are derived from opium, the active ingredient found in the flower of the poppy seed plant. Opiates include opium itself, heroin, morphine, and codeine. They’re highly addictive chemicals which can alter brain chemicals to cause increased tolerance and even dependence in first-time users. Accordingly, dependence often leads to the portrayal of addictive and self-destructive behaviors. Long-term use of opiates can lead to irreversible organ damage and even psychosis. So, it’s important that those who are experiencing consequences of their opiate use to seek help for an opiate addiction. Fortunately, for those addicted to opiates, treatment may be helpful in establishing healing and a life of recovery. But, it’s only possible if an individual is willing to commit to the road to recovery.
What are Opiates? Are They the Same as Opioids?
This class of drugs is one of the oldest and most used throughout the history of humankind. They’ve been used for medical reasons as well as recreationally for thousands of years. While the term “opioid” is used to describe both synthetic (prescription medications) and natural (opium) substances, there are distinctions between opioids and opiates. Basically, opiates are naturally produced substances which are derived from the poppy plant itself. In contrast, opioids are drugs which are man-made to mimic the structure of opium and provide like-effects. It’s important to understand that both classes of drugs are highly dangerous, addictive, and potent. Specifically, opiates include:
How the Body Responds to the use of Opiates
Basically, using substances like opiates increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. This naturally occurring chemical is responsible for rewarding humans for performing normal behaviors which aid in survival like eating and reproducing. But, when an opiate is used, dopamine levels jump tenfold, resulting in intoxicating euphoria. Of course, individuals like this rush of “feel good” chemicals and use again to recreate the effects. But, the use of opiates changes the function of the brain, as normal levels of dopamine are interrupted. Soon, with casual or frequent use, users of opiates don’t experience the presence of dopamine unless they use their drug of choice. This is opiate dependence and can start to develop with the first use of opiates like heroin and morphine. For this reason, there is a large population of individuals becoming dependent on these drugs every day.
Opiate Abuse, Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction
While opiate addiction is common, it’s severely deadly. In fact, over 100 people die of an opiate overdose in the USA every day. But, those living with opiate addiction don’t have to die from their drug abuse. Treatment is effective for those who are serious about living a life free from drug use. And, here at Simple Path Recovery, we provide individuals with every means necessary to obtain lasting healing from opiate addiction.
Treatment for Opiate Addiction
You don’t have to be another opiate epidemic overdose statistic. With the additives of extremely potent opioids into opiates like heroin and opium, opiate users never know when the day of their next overdose will be. But, those who don’t want to become another statistic can find protection in sobriety. If you or a loved one needs help for an opiate addiction, contact us today to speak with an experienced addiction specialist about your treatment options.