Opiate Addiction Facts

Opiate addiction is a serious condition that is seen by the medical community as a disease. Taking opiates can be a very welcome and necessary step in the quest for pain management. They can be taken safely, but for some, they can be habit forming. Misuse of opiates such as morphine or OxyContin can lead quickly to dependence or addiction.

Caution should be taken when using opiates and patients should familiarize themselves with all the information about safe use, precautions, warnings, side effects and potential drug interactions.

Important Opiate Facts To Keep In Mind

There are several facts that are important to know, regarding the use of opiates. These include:

  • Opiates are powerful painkillers that also have other uses. Some can be used for cough suppression and to treat opiate addiction.
  • Opiates are naturally occurring alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant. Semi-synthetic opioids derived from active opiates include oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone, and all drugs synthesized from them.
  • Opiates can have side effects that range from mild to severe. This can include gastrointestinal problems, pinpoint pupils, sedation and dependence.
  • Prescription painkiller abuse and addiction have quickly become problems of epidemic proportions in recent years.
  • Most people who become addicted to opiates have been abusing them in some way. Most people who take them for legitimate medical reasons can do so without problems.
  • There are various programs that can treat opiate addiction in a successful way. Make sure to find one that offers opiate detox and aftercare in a safe, medical and humane setting.
  • Opiate addiction can be very difficult to break without professional treatment.
  • Patients should never try to detox on their own because withdrawal can be a dangerous time.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, agitation, depression and achiness of joints, muscles and bones. Seizures can also develop if prolonged use is stopped abruptly.