Everything You Need To Know About Opiate Addiction: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Opiate addiction is one of the worst types out there. The epidemic involving drugs in this group including heroin has claimed the lives of many Americans over the last decade. And it’s only going to get worse if nothing changes.

This guide will focus on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of opiate addiction. If you are dealing with it yourself and need a detox center that can help, Gallus Detox might be your go-to place. You can visit their site for more information using this link: https://www.gallusdetox.com/locations/texas/san-antonio-detox-center/.

Let’s take a deeper look at the guide below so you know what to look for, what may be causing it, and the treatment that needs to be done to beat opiate addiction.

Symptoms of Opiate Addiction 

There are plenty of symptoms that can occur with opioid addiction. These include plenty of mood, behavioral, and physical symptoms among others. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Relaxation
  • “Loss” of prescription opioids
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor judgment
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Constipation
  • Flushed skin
  • Decreased respiration
  • Coma
  • Death

This is just a sample list of opiate addiction symptoms across the board. It’s important to know what they are so you can be able to get the help you need as soon as possible. If you know someone who deals with opioid addiction, you may want to watch for these symptoms and make a decision to get them treatment as soon as possible.

What causes opiate addiction? 

There is no specific cause regarding opiate addiction. However, there are several factors that can play a role. This includes but not limited to the following:

  • Brain chemistry: When heroin is introduced to the body for the first time, your brain will release more dopamine. The issue with this is that your brain will not reabsorb it like usual. For this reason, the euphoric and pleasurable feeling will last longer than usual.
  • Genetics: If you are born into a family where addiction happens, you are likely to develop one yourself as you get older in life.
  • Environmental: Briefly mentioned in the previous point, the environmental factors will play a role in developing an addiction. You may have grown up in a home environment that was chaotic and addiction may have been present. Your environment may cause stress and lead you to find unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Psychological: Mental illnesses that pre-exist the addiction can lead to the latter development. They will want to find ways to escape the pain of the personal trauma they have suffered. Long-term drug use can even lead to mental disorders progressively getting worse.

Treatment of Opiate Addiction 

One of the best ways to treat opiate addiction is using medication. This is known as medication-assisted treatment or MATs. Typically, this will use one of three medications that will help reduce the amount of withdrawals and their symptoms.

Let’s take a look at the following types of medications that are used in MATs:

Methadone

Methadone is used in inpatient facilities. It’s not widely available outside of the facilities. However, there are other options including buprenorphine and naltrexone.

Buprenorphine 

This is also known as suboxone (and has other alternative names). This is widely available at inpatient and outpatient facilities and also community clinics among other places. This is one of the most common medications that can be used if you are fighting opiate addiction. 

Even in an inpatient facility where you need to be monitored for any medical conditions, your medical staff can administer this as part of your treatment (unless otherwise noted). Buprenorphine can be taken in pill form and may also be induced using a transdermal patch (known as Burtrans).

The Burtrans pad will need to be applied every seven days. This may be an alternative option compared to taking buprenorphine orally. Transdermal is believed to be one of the most effective given its ability to absorb in the bloodstream faster.

Naltrexone 

Naltrexone is not only used for opioid treatment, but it’s also used for those being treated for alcohol addiction. Either way, it’s proven itself to be as effective even when compared to methadone and buprenorphine. One of the things that needs to be done prior to being administered naltrexone is making sure you haven’t used opioids in the last seven days.

One of these three medications will be available based on your treatment plan and the severity of your addiction. Keep in mind, the more severe your addiction is, your withdrawal symptoms might be the same. That’s why it is important to note that the medication you will be taking will be at the discretion of your doctor and medical personnel.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication assisted treatment, you can talk to your medical team or therapist and they might have the answers you’ll need. Please note that you will be on any medication for a specific dose for the first 90 days.

After that 90 day period, your doctor can bring down the dose a bit and will keep it that way for a certain period of time. Throughout your treatment, you may start taking less and less of the medication until the withdrawal symptoms are brought down to a minimum.

Your medication treatment can last weeks, months, and in some cases a little over a year. This will depend on the medication you may be using.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you know is dealing with opiate addiction, it’s important to get the help needed as soon as possible. Opioid addiction is serious and can be fatal. This guide is your overview in making sure to positively identify the signs of this addiction and what may be the cause of it.

Treatment is important and it is a long process. But if you go through with it, your future self will thank you. The next decision you make can save your life, so get the treatment you need as soon as possible.


Interesting Related Article: “How to treat Suboxone Withdrawal?