Opiate addiction is a medical condition where a person is physically and mentally addicted to prescription opiates. They are named because they affect the opiate receptors in the brain and body. Opiates can be derived from opium poppy plants or they may be synthetically created in a laboratory, as is the case with the pain medication fentanyl. With the exception of heroin, most opiates have a medical use, which is to treat pain. However, a person can easily become addicted to the euphoric high they can experience when using opiates. If a person suffers from opiate addiction in Wichita Falls, help is available to help a person detox from opiates and learn how to live a life free from opiate abuse.
Examples of prescription opiates include the medications hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, Demerol, and methadone. When taken in excess or other than as prescribed, a person can experience harmful side effects. This includes the complete stoppage of breathing. As a result, a person will not get enough oxygen to their brain. If they go long enough without getting oxygen, they will die. This makes opiate addiction in Wichita Falls a severe problem that must be treated.
According to the website County Health Rankins, an estimated 67 people in Wichita Falls died from drug overdose deaths in 2017. Nationally, deaths from drug overdoses that involved opiates are on the rise, according to a report from the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. According to the report, an average of 8.8 people per 100,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in which opiates were involved. In Texas, this rate is much lower at 1.5 to 4.2 deaths per 100,000 people. However, even one death due to opiate abuse is too many. Currently, heroin addiction admissions represent 14.6 of all drug treatment admissions in Texas.
In addition to considerations about the increasing number of deaths, the average profile of a person in Texas who abuses opiates has changed. Heroin used to be thought of as a "street" drug that was only a problem in large major cities. Today, according to statistics from the University of Texas at Austin, the average heroin user is younger and often lives outside of major urban areas. Heroin users are getting younger, with the average age of a person dying with heroin in their system in Texas aged 36, which is a decrease from 2005's aged 40. Before a tragedy occurs, consider staging a drug intervention in Wichita Falls to convince someone you know struggling with addiction to get help.
While heroin is a major problem in Texas, more people die from overdoses involving prescription opioids. A common misconception is because these medications are legal and a doctor prescribes them that they are safe. This is far from the truth as prescription opioids can and do result in deaths across America on a daily basis. For this reason, more doctors are prescribing the medication Naloxone or Narcan to people when they are prescribed opioids. This medicine reverses the effects of opiates, which can be a life-saving medication should a person suffer from opiate addiction.
Opiate addiction is different from opiate dependence. A person may be prescribed opiates due to chronic pain issues, such as from cancer. Just because a person takes opioids regularly doesn't mean they are addicted. However, when a person loses control over their drug use, this is a sign the person is addicted.
A person won't be able to control how much they use and may start injecting or snorting the opiate to get higher, faster. They will often experience affected performance at work or school. They will also experience financial difficulties because they are spending so much on obtaining drugs. They may resort to stealing from loved ones or engaging in other illegal activities as a means to support their habit.
Other signs of opiate addiction include:
Opiate addiction can also cause serious long-term side effects. For example, a person is at greater risk for respiratory infections due to the effects opiates have on a person's breathing. If a person injects opiates into their system, they are at greater risk for intravenous-related diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
They may also experience a higher risk of infections, including an infection known as endocarditis that can severely damage the heart. By engaging in our treatment programs in Wichita Falls for drug addiction, a person can stop putting themselves at risk for these and other potentially deadly side effects. Call us now at (940) 240-7089.