Opiates are substances derived from opium poppies. The most common of these substances are heroin and prescription pain relievers. These drugs are well known for their ability to eliminate or manage pain, but they are also well known sources of addiction and substance abuse. However, you can help alleviate these problems with the right knowledge. By knowing the signs, dangers, and solutions for opiate abuse you will better be able to help and protect your family and loved ones.
Signs of Opiate Abuse
Opiate pain relievers are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America. However, they are also very prone to abuse. There are ways to tell if you or a loved one has developed an issue. Some signs that someone has a problem with opiate abuse include:
- Strong cravings for opiates
- Being unable to control or stop use
- Failing to meet work or family obligations
- Legal problems related to opiate use
- Spending a lot of time looking for and using opiates
- Needing larger or more frequent doses over time
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped
Anyone showing these signs may need help to overcome their opiate use and return to more normal lives. They are also at significant risk of suffering a number of negative consequences.
Despite the fact that most abused opiates are prescribed medications, taking them without physician supervision or in a manner they were not prescribed can be very dangerous. Some of the dangerous consequences of opiate abuse are:
- Damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs
- Death or addiction in newborn infants
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Sexual dysfunction
- Legal problems and incarceration
- Financial problems
- Damage to personal and professional relationships
- Mental disorders and insomnia
These are just some of the potential consequences that may be faced by people that abuse opiates. Fortunately there are solutions to the problem of opiate abuse that are proven to be effective.
Opiate abuse and addiction has now reached epidemic proportions. It is easy to point fingers and attempt to find someone to blame for this situation. However, finding proven solutions is more difficult, but not impossible. One of the most important solutions is education. By making sure that more people are aware of the risks and effects of opiate abuse, fewer people are likely to fall into the trap.
Even if people do find themselves struggling with opiate use problems, solutions still exist. Professional treatment options, such as behavioral therapies, counseling, and medications, are all proven to rend opiate abuse and reverse some of its effects.
By understanding all of the available solutions, as well as the signs and consequences of opiate abuse, it becomes possible to end this terrible epidemic. Keeping yourself and those you care about informed of these things and doing your best to support and help them if they fall victim is the key to success.