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Hundreds of opiates and related medications (also known as opioids) have been isolated or manufactured from the seeds of the opium poppy. Among other medications, the poppy seed includes morphine and codeine. Hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percodan, OxyContin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and heroin are synthetic derivatives (diacetylmorphine). Propoxyphene (Darvon), meperidine (Demerol), and methadone are examples of synthetic opiates or opioids with differing chemical structures but comparable effects on the body and brain. Many of these medicines are used by doctors to treat pain.
Opiates inhibit pain, alleviate anxiety, and create euphoria in high enough dosages. The majority can be taken by mouth, smoked, or snorted, but addicts frequently choose intravenous injection, which provides the strongest and fastest pleasure. Intravenous needles can spread infection, and an overdose, especially when given intravenously, can result in respiratory arrest and death.
Addicts take more than they intend, frequently try to cut down or quit, devote a significant amount of time to getting the drug and recuperating from its effects, forego other interests for the sake of the drug, and continue to use it despite considerable physical or psychological harm. Some people are unable to keep down a job and must resort to criminal activity in order to pay for illegal narcotics. Heroin has long been the drug of choice for street addicts because it is many times more strong than morphine and reaches the brain quickly, resulting in a euphoric high when injected intravenously.
Nerve receptors in people who take opiates on a daily basis for a long period are prone to adapt and become resistant to the medication, necessitating greater doses. The physical withdrawal reaction that occurs when the drug exits the body and receptors must readapt to its absence is the opposite side of tolerance. This type of physical dependency is not the same as addiction. Many people who take an opiate for pain are physically dependent but not addicted: the medicine does not hurt them, and they do not crave it or go to great lengths to get it.
Because adolescence can be a time of emotional turmoil, it can be particularly difficult to recognize an addiction at first. It's all too easy to confuse the normalcy of adolescent development with indicators of drug usage. Additional concerns, such as the emergence of a co-occurring psychological disorder, can exacerbate the situation. As a result, physicians frequently misdiagnose or completely overlook addiction. Signs that an adolescent is abusing prescription medicines include the following:
Excessive irritation or uncontrollable crying
Changes in sleep habits, such as sleeping for longer amounts of time or staying awake for several days
Sudden loss of interest in hobbies or pastimes
Loss of close relationships with friends and family, as well as a desire for more "alone time"
Inattention to basic hygiene or appearance
Of course, some of these symptoms aren't always linked to substance misuse, which is why it's so important to have an open and honest conversation when pill addiction is suspected. We will always send our patients to a therapist as well as a drug rehabilitation facility. This is to see if there is a mental health issue causing the symptoms you're experiencing.
How to Get Help for Pill Addiction
Treatment choices may vary based on the substance in question, as well as our patient's misuse history and tendencies. Withdrawal is the first step in rehabilitation when it comes to opioids and other drugs that cause physical addiction. We might be able to help with this by using several drugs. Physical alterations in our patient's brain chemistry can occur as a result of long-term addiction. Attempting to offset these shifts is a huge undertaking.
Regardless of which medicines the patient is abusing, the best course of action is to get treatment from a competent drug rehab facility. This should ideally include a complex treatment strategy that is tailored to each patient. To address the various facets of addiction, it is ideal to combine psychotherapy and medication treatment.