Opiates come from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Opiates go by a variety of names including opiates, opioids, and narcotics.
The symptoms of using opiates include:
- Increased general anxiety
- Anxiety attacks
- Improved self-esteem
- Lowered motivation
- Opioids are used for longer or at a greater amount than intended
- Unsuccessful attempts to decrease the amount taken
- Large amount of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from the drug
- An abandonment of important activities
- Improved alertness
- Increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli
- Constricted blood vessels
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Increased energy
- Decreased appetite
- Increased sexual arousal
- Physical agitation
- Difficulty sleeping
- Over arousal and hyper-vigilance
- Physical and psychological cravings
- Stomach pain
- Cold sweat
- Muscle tension
- Shaking or quivering
- Trouble sleeping
- Enlarged pupils
- Pain in the bones
There is no specific known causes to opiate addiction. Although, there are factors that have been linked to contributing factors in the addiction. These factors include:
- Genetic. Family studies have shown that when an individual has a first degree relative with an opioid addiction they are more likely to develop the disorder than those who don’t have a similar family history.
- Social influences. Its been shown that when associating with people who have addictions, due to peer pressure, or the feeling of being left out, one will try a drug thinking nothing will happen. Once the drug has been taken in the preferred way, it becomes addictive and the person craves more. Addiction can also be a learned behavior, if a child grows up witnessing a parent using drugs; they are more likely to become experimental with drugs as an adolescent or adult.
Medications and behavioral therapy, used together are important key factors in a successful therapeutic process that usually begins with detoxification, followed by treatment and relapse prevention. Easing withdrawal symptoms is important in the beginning of the specified treatment; preventing relapse is necessary for maintaining the treatment effects. Many times as with other chronic conditions, episodes of relapse may require a return to prior treatment plans or facilities. A constant care that includes a customized treatment plan addressing all needs of an individual's life, including medical and mental health services with follow up appointments can be important to a person's success in achieving and maintaining a drug free life.