Updated on January 17th, 2019
Some drugs are dangerous because it can develop into an addiction that drives people towards darkness and can even end lives. Substance abuse and opioid dependence is a menace in the US where 2.6 million people were affected by it in 2015. The scariest aspect is that it can lead to untimely death and every day 115 people die in the US due to opioid overdose.
The country is going through a national crisis resulting from drug misuse and opioid addiction that threatens to affect social and economic welfare as well as public health. According to the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the financial burden of opioid misuse as a prescription drug amounts to $78.5 every year.
Opioids constitute prescribed pain relievers as well as street heroin and being highly addictive substances are capable of changing the chemistry of the brain.
1. The Growth Of Opioid Addiction
The pain relieving properties of opioids make it a staple choice for use as pain relievers and doctors keep prescribing it for patients for the treatment of various conditions of pain. Despite knowing the downside of using opioids, pharmaceutical companies assured people of stripping opioids of its addictive properties or lowering it below addictive levels when using it in drugs.
As a result of the assurance, since the end of the 90s, health care providers started using more opioid drugs, and the rate of prescriptions for opioid medications rose rapidly. Unfortunately, the assurance of pharmaceutical companies proved wrong, and incidences of opioid overdose started increasing. In 2015, 33,000 people died due to opioid overdose from prescription drugs as well as heroin and illegal drugs.
2. Health And Family Issues Arising From Addiction
Addiction is a double-edged sword that harms the health of individuals and affects family ties and bonding adversely. Many health issues result from addiction whether it is an opioid addiction, alcohol addiction or any other drug addiction. From heart and lung disease and cancer to mental health conditions and stroke, addiction can be very bad for health.
Drugs also increase the risks of contracting infections like HIV or Aids and Hepatitis C. It can render people into a vegetative state as they can lose the mental abilities and head towards disaster and death. Usually, drug addicts suffer from various mental illnesses.
Families find it hard to accommodate drug addicts as family ties break down and despair and distress surround their lives. The adverse effects arising from the erratic and irresponsible behavior of drug addicts tend to drive other family members towards peril.
Why opioids are so harmful and how to seek relief from opioid addiction would become evident in reading this article.
3. Opioids – What Is It?
Opioids have pain relieving properties that can make people forget the pain and the reason for its use in pain-relieving drugs. The substances in opioids attach to the receptors of the brain that are responsible for controlling pain as well as feelings of well being.
When the receptors of the brain get used to the strong effects of the opiate drugs, it becomes impossible to live without taking the pills as it generates intense cravings when the drugs are not available.
As the brain becomes accustomed to an elevated sense of well being under the influence of drugs, individuals become dependent on the drugs that alter the normal functioning of the brain. There is a considerable reduction of natural chemicals in the mind.
4. Treatment For Opioid Addiction
It is a difficult task to alter the functioning of the brain and bring it back to normal by making addicts abstain from taking drugs. Only through Drug rehabilitation programs, it is possible to reverse the effects of drug addiction and help people lead a normal and healthy life so that they can come back to the mainstream.
Drug rehabilitation programs take at least three months to show results and consist of a series of medical and psychological treatments that begins with detoxification of drugs. Detoxification is the method of cleansing the system to make it drug-free.
The next step is to treat the mental condition of patients to help them deal with the severe withdrawal symptoms that often becomes unbearable. It is the most testing time of the treatment as patients remain vulnerable to relapse.
The third phase of the therapy comprises of exercises in regaining sobriety. Unless patients can put up with the long-term treatment with firm commitment, recovery from drugs would remain elusive.
5. Rapid Drug Detoxification Under Sedation
In contrast to the long time that it takes for drug rehabilitation programs, Rapid Medical Detox Under Sedation is a faster and more positive way of getting rid of drug addiction. The treatment lasts for only three days and is undertaken in a medical facility’s intensive care unit by qualified and Board-certified physicians and psychologists.
The treatment comprises of putting the patient to sleep by using sedatives or anesthesia while carrying out the procedure of detoxification to cleanse the system and drive out the opioids and other harmful substances.
When patients undergo detoxification during sleep, they do not have to go through the bouts of severe and painful withdrawal symptoms. The process is entirely pain-free, safe and ensures a quick recovery.
6. Preventing Relapse
Preventing relapse is most important for any drug rehabilitation program because patients often are unable to cope with the withdrawal symptoms that increase cravings for drugs and they start retaking it. To take care of this problem, rapid drug detoxification administers Naltrexone therapy when the patient remains asleep.
Naltrexone is capable of reducing cravings and prevents opiates from going back to the brain. Opiate receptors leads to a higher success rate of the treatment. However, the Naltrexone therapy has to continue.
Since patients do not have to experience the pain and pangs of withdrawal symptoms and recovery is faster in just three days with a high rate of success, rapid drug detoxification is a popular choice. The best part of the treatment is that it does not involve substituting the addictive drug with another drug.