Understanding & Identifying the Problem

Opiate Addiction-Dependence-Abuse

Opiate addiction is a chronic, long-term medical condition that causes an individual to be dependent on drugs and cause an individual to display certain psychological effects.  These include compulsive behavior to get the drug, severe cravings for the drug, and continued use despite negative consequences such as; lost relationships, losing a job or legal problems.

Opiate dependence occurs when the body develops a tolerance to the drug, which means the individual will begin to abuse the drug because they require a higher dosage to get the same effect, the same feeling or the same high.

Opiate abuse occurs when an individual deliberately uses an opiate medication beyond a doctor’s prescription with the intention to get high, hide stress or to relieve anxiety.

The Science

When an individual begins taking an opiate, the drug activates the opioid receptor in the brain.  As someone rapidly becomes more and more tolerant to opioids, they become less sensitive to the drug and their opioid receptor requires more and more opioids to produce the same effect.

This individual will continue on activating the amount of tolerance the opioid receptors become accustom to by increasing the amount of opiates they take.  The opioid receptors will begin to fill with a full-agonist and an extremely strong opioid effect that will cause a state of euphoria for a period of time (4-24 hours).  This creates a “snowball effect” for the individual’s need for the drug and the brain begins to crave opioids, often to the point of uncontrollable compulsion or also known as, “addiction.”

When that individual begins to reduce or stop taking opiates the patient will begin to feel severe discomfort, also known as “withdrawal.”  The cycle does not only just continue and repeat, it quickly escalates and accelerates the need and tolerance for the drug.

Opiate Withdrawal

There are a wide range of symptoms an addict may struggle with when reducing or stopping the amount of opiates they are taking.  Here are some of the most common symptoms that appear during an opiate withdrawal experience.

Because of these difficult withdrawal symptoms it is common that addicts may fear or have doubts to begin the recovery process.  Often the most challenging point of ones recovery is making the first step towards committing to a program.  When choosing our Suboxonetreatment program, it is important to understand two things – you are making the right decision and you will not have to do it on your own.