Opiates are one of the most addictive substances on the planet. If you have been struggling with opiate abuse or if you know someone who has been, you can get help for this addiction at a treatment center that caters specifically to opiate abuse. Fortunately, the success rate of those who seek professional care for opiate addiction is very high.

What is An Opiate?

Sad woman in dark, worried about her opiate abuse.There are a large number of drugs that are considered opiates, including both legal and illegal substances. Legal opiates include drugs like morphine, fentanyl, and codeine. Illegal opiates include those such as opium and heroin.

If you’ve heard the term “opioid” in place of the term “opiate” before and are confused as to how they are different, you’re not alone. This is a common misunderstanding. Essentially, opioids are semi-synthetic or synthetic drugs that are modified from the building blocks of opiates. For example, opioid is commonly used in reference to legal prescription drugs. For most purposes, however, opioids and opiates are used interchangeably.

The Problem of Opiate Abuse

One of the major drug issues in the United States today is opiate addiction. Not only are black market illegal opiates sold on the streets, usually in the form of heroin, but prescription medication is also being dispensed at alarming rates. Each year hundreds of millions of prescriptions for opiate pain medications are prescribed to patients who may not really need them. In the end, this can cause serious opiate abuse problems and full-blown opioid addiction.

When someone begins to abuse opiates, it’s generally because these drugs make them feel good. They may have been prescribed opiate pain medication after a serious surgery or because of chronic pain like lower back pain. After taking the drugs a few times, they may enjoy the fact that they feel no pain and feel an overall sense of contentment as well.

Over time, tolerance sets in. This is when the body needs an increasingly high amount of opiates in order to feel the same high or the same feeling of contentment. Naturally, you can see how this would lead to patients taking more and more of these drugs and becoming preoccupied with how to obtain them.

The Opiate Transition From Prescription Medications to Heroin

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you may have heard that there is both an opioid prescription addiction epidemic going on in the United States and a heroin epidemic. These two drug addiction issues are related.

The transition between prescription medications and heroin is quite clear. First, a patient may undergo a serious surgery or have chronic pain that warrants a prescription for an opioid-based pain medication. The patient likes how opiates make them feel, so they begin to abuse their pain medications, taking them even when they don’t feel pain or taking more than prescribed.

They may ask their doctor for an additional prescription, which they may receive. But after a few more prescription requests, they are forced to “doctor shop.” This is when someone struggling with an addiction to prescription medications goes to multiple doctors, complaining of ailments that will hopefully get them prescriptions for opiate pain medication.

This is illegal, and most patients who take this route are generally found out. This forces them to get their opiate fix elsewhere. The leading location is on the street. These individuals can get prescription medications through this avenue–which is expensive. Or, they can get heroin, which is cheaper and offers a similar high.

This transition is extremely dangerous. No matter what form opiates take, the long-term ramifications of addiction to a substance are terrible. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to prescription or illegal opiates, you need professional help.

Find Help for Opiate Abuse at Beaches Recovery

A high-quality opiate addiction treatment center like Beaches Recovery can help you overcome any addiction, including opiates. In addition to detox, we offer the following key therapies to help you get through treatment successfully:

To learn more about what we have to offer at Beaches Recovery, give us a call today at 866.605.0532. We can help you get your life back. Start today.