Drug overdose deaths from prescription opioids have increased. Matter of fact, according to drugabuse.gov, there were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017. Compare that to almost 17,000 fatalities due to drug overdoses in 1999 including opiates and opioids. Unfortunately, the trend isn’t going away at the moment. But exactly what are opiates? Knowledge increases understanding, and from there effective treatment can begin at a Texas opiate rehab.
Definition of Opiates Described
An opiate is a narcotic sedative drug that is addictive. Doctors prescribe narcotic drugs to numb pain and sedative drugs to cause drowsiness. An opiate is both pain-numbing and sleep-inducing.
Opiates and opioids are often used interchangeably; however, there is a difference between the two. An opiate is naturally produced from the opium poppy flower, in particular immature opium poppy seedpods. It’s the source of codeine, morphine, heroin, and opium. Papaverine and thebaine also occur naturally in the opium plant. They are used to make synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs. Another term for opiates is opium alkaloids.
How Opiates Differ from Opioids
Opioids cover any substance illegally made or medically prescribed that attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. Opioid receptors control addiction, pain, and gratification. Since opioids are made from opiates, both are addictive.
The popular opioid drug Percocet contains oxycodone. It is made from the opiate chemical, thebaine, also used in the formulation of the popular drug Hydrocodone. Vicodin is an example of a drug containing hydrocodone. Those are semi-synthetic opioid medications. As you can see, to add to the answer to “what are opiates?” is that they are the primary chemical in prescribed opioids and semi-synthetic prescribed opioid drugs.
Truly synthetic opioids such as man-made methadone have applications in treating heroin addiction and addiction to other opioids. In Texas opiate rehab facilities and others around the nation, treatment centers may use methadone to reduce symptoms associated with withdrawal and cravings.
Opiate Addiction Warning Signs
In many cases, opiate addiction is outwardly noticeable in the addicted person’s behavior. If you or someone close to you abuse opiates, some common signs to look for are:
- Small pupils like pinpoints
- Blotchy redness in the face, neck, and upper chest area
- Visiting a variety of physicians to obtain more painkillers
- Irrational decision making, impulsiveness
- Mood swings that come on suddenly and dramatically
- Hallucinations, blurred vision
The best addiction treatment programs in TX address those issues above with empathy and without condemnation. They can answer the question, “what are opiates?” with a sincere willingness to bring you to a happier place where you can live your fullest life now.
Benefits of Opiate Treatment
A quality rehab facility offering different substance abuse treatment programs in TX can help set you free from your addiction. You may not know where to start on your road to recovery, but know that you are not alone in your journey.
Your chances of a successful outcome improve with:
- Medications that help provide comfort during withdrawal
- Commitment to your care by trained and compassionate staff
- Health monitoring during treatment
- Safe chronic pain treatment options such as massage
Don’t allow addiction to continue to define your lifestyle. Knowing the answer to what are opiates is the first step. The second is getting the assistance you need. Combining these two can help put your life back on track and get you the treatment you deserve. You are worth more than the habit and can overcome it with help from a trusted rehab facility in the Texas area. You are not alone, there are professionals willing to help assist you in your journey.