Opiate addiction is a serious condition that many people face around the world. According to this article by The Recovery Village, opiate overdose, including opioids, was the number one cause of overdose deaths in the USA. In 2011, over 20,000 deaths were reported due to overdose of prescribed painkillers, and over 12,000 deaths were due to heroin overdose in 2015. Clearly this is a serious problem and should be understood by people who are seeking to help themselves or others struggling with this addiction.
To begin with, according to the article by The Recovery Village, opiates are derived from the poppy plant and are in a more natural state, as compared to opioids, which are created or partially created synthetically. That being said, there is little difference as to the effectiveness between the two, and the terms are often used interchangeably. In the end, they are both addictive and dangerous.
There are many medical uses that stem from opiates and they can be prescribed by doctors if needed. Such medicines include morphine, codeine and oxycodone. That being said, these medicines are still addictive. This can cause issues for people who get addicted to them while using them as medication. That is why it is necessary to remain in good contact with a medical professional if prescribed any of these medications. As can be seen by the statistics given early, there were more deaths by overdose of prescribed painkillers than by overdose of heroin.
While there are some medicinal purposes for opiates, there are also illegal drugs that are derived from poppy plants. These drugs include heroin and opium. According to the article, people who get addicted to opiates or opioids through a prescription often will resort to using heroin when they are no longer able to get opiates through medical professionals.
According to the article, what makes opiates so addicting is that they flood the brain with artificial chemicals that are responsible for pleasure, satisfaction and reward. This artificial flood is so much stronger than what is naturally produced by the body that the only way to feel it again is by taking opiates again. That being said, the body will eventually build a tolerance to these chemicals. Thus, more and more opiates must be taken in order to get high. In addition, often the only way for an addict to feel feelings of pleasure or satisfaction is through the drug, which makes it harder to resist.
The three parts of an opiate addiction are building a tolerance to the drug, becoming physically dependent on the drug and then becoming psychologically dependent. Thankfully, opiate addiction can be overcome and properly dealt with through a variety of methods.