Once highly valued members of society — doctors and athletes, teachers and construction workers, mom and dads, brothers and sisters, everyday Americans — are falling victim to opiate addiction. That’s exactly why the opioid crisis looming over our nation has been declared a public health emergency.

Have you or someone you care about become a casualty to opioid addiction? Read more to find out.

Opiate medications, such as fentanyl, codeine and morphine, are surprisingly easy to obtain. Some of the most commonly prescribed opioid medications, such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, are indicated for acute pain management.  Long-term use of prescription opiates, however, can put you at severe risk.

Patients who use opioids can build up a tolerance to them, a frightening dynamic that triggers the cycle of addiction. When the same amount of one prescription medicine no longer produces the same effect as it once did, some may take more of the substance to feel the desired response. The escalating dosage amount can place you at a grave risk for addiction and ultimately overdose.

An alarming reality is that prescription opioid users are likely to develop a heroin addiction because heroin offers a similar high at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re abusing opioids, you face the alarming risk of a fatal overdose, an epidemic that is killing more than 100 people each day.

Telltale Signs of Opiate Addiction

Physical signs that you or someone you know may be abusing opioids include:

  • Noticeable elation/euphoria
  • Marked sedation/drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slowed breathing
  • Intermittent nodding off or loss of consciousness
  • Constipation

Other telltale signs could include:

  • Doctor shopping (multiple subscriptions from different doctors)
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Surplus of pull bottles around
  • Social withdrawal/isolation
  • Financial problems

Side Effects of Opiate Abuse 

The short-term impact of opioid addiction can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sedation
  • Delayed reaction time

The long-term effects of opioid abuse can include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Gastric issues ranging from constipation to bowel perforation
  • Localized abscesses
  • Blood clot
  • Systemic infection
  • Contraction of blood borne diseases (HIV, hepatitis B)
  • Respiratory depression
  • Major organ damage

Opiate Treatment and Recovery at Your Fingertips

Patients seeking addiction recovery are typically asked questions of this nature:

  1. How long have you taken the drug?
  2. When was the last time you took the drug?
  3. What triggered you to start using more than doctor recommended?

Answers to these questions will help guide the medical staff to determine which treatment approach is the most appropriate for each individual patient.

At New Season Treatment Centers, a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach to addiction recovery is offered.

Patients are slowly stabilized from the drug through the administration of appropriate levels of  maintenance medication under the close supervision of a licensed physician.  If a patient is stabilizing from powerful opiates, they will be prescribed methadone or buprenorphine to make the transition more manageable. Patients under the treatment of methadone or buprenorphine are closely monitored so the proper dose is being taken on a daily basis.

Concurrent with medication-assisted treatment, patients are offered counseling and other social and emotional support that help promote recovery from illegal opiates. During counseling, you will attend one on one sessions with a counselor to help you determine the triggers of your addiction. The counseling sessions help to build useful coping skills to resist the temptation of illegal drugs. The counseling will also help to reconnect you with family, friends, employment or schooling.

Getting the Help You Need

For more information about your recovery options, please contact one of New Season’s treatment centers today.