Effects of Use
Opiate addicts use the drug to feel a sense of well-being that comes in a rush after the drug is taken. After this initial feeling of euphoria, the user goes through alternate periods of feeling alert and then drowsy. Using opiates affects the user’s ability to reason clearly. Respiration slows, and reflexes are impaired.
Complications and Long-Term Effects of Opiate Abuse
Whenever someone uses opiates and develops a tolerance for the drug, the possibility of a drug overdose is always a concern. Be alert for these signs and call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number if you notice them:
- Difficulty breathing
- Fingertips and lips turn blue
- Shallow breathing
- Weak pulse
Over the long term, opium addicts may display these kinds of symptoms:
- Collapsed veins (if the drug is being injected)
- Refusing to eat
- Ignoring basic personal hygiene
- Liver disease
Help and Treatment for Opiate Addiction in Pennsylvania
A drug detox and rehab facility can help an opium addict get free from the drug. Opium withdrawal symptoms include:
- Aches and pains
- Cravings for the drug
For most people, the withdrawal symptoms subside within seven days. Since an addict’s health may already be compromised after long-term use, getting drug abuse help by checking into an opiate addiction treatment facility is a good choice. That way, the person’s condition can be monitored closely while they are going through the process of ridding their body of the drug.
There are a number of rehab clinics that offer services to people who are trying to break the cycle of addiction to opiates. Many of these facilities, such as Narconon, have websites where you can get information about the services offered and the approach the facility takes to helping people learn how to quit using opiates.
Beyond Quitting: Opiate Recovery and Rehabilitation
Detox and quitting are only the first steps; an individual must also get help to deal with the reasons why they became addicted to opiates in the first place. Opiate treatment must include this element, or the person is at increased risk for a relapse. Part of opiate drug rehabilitation is teaching the addict that even though they have quit opiates, they need to learn new patterns of behavior to replace their former ways.