Opiate addiction in Odessa is an increasingly serious public health concern. Most people associate opiate addiction with illicit street drugs such as heroin. However, the majority of people addicted to opiate drugs aren't taking heroin. They're abusing prescription opiate painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Dilaudid or Percocet.
In Texas, researchers have noticed that the number of people abusing hydrocodone or oxycodone has decreased. However, the same research indicates that rogue fentanyl powder and a Schedule 1 synthetic opioid drug known as U-47700 are being increasingly abused across Texas. It's known that the opioid analgesic drug U-47700 was responsible for at least 15 fatal drug overdoses in America in 2015
It's common for people to believe that prescription painkillers are somehow a safer option than taking heroin as they were prescribed by a doctor. In reality, prescription painkillers are still opiate drugs that act in exactly the same way on the opioid receptors in the brain as heroin.
Opiate drugs attach themselves directly to the brain's opioid receptors, which work to decrease pain. When a person takes opiate drugs, the brain is artificially stimulated to release a flood of dopamine into the system. The user interprets the surge in hormones as a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by a dreamy, relaxed state.
Dopamine is usually only released by the body as a reward response for survival behaviors. Abusing opiate drugs for any length of time causes the brain to form an association between taking the drug and receiving an artificial reward of a surge in feel-good hormones, which the brain stores into long-term memory.
Eventually, the brain adapts to the continued trigger of the drug, causing a diminished response to its use. In order to achieve the same effects that used to occur, the user needs to take higher doses. This is known as tolerance and is an indication that continued use of the drug has begun to change the way nerve receptors work.
The body's opioid receptors begin to stop releasing naturally-occurring hormones and neurotransmitters unless the person continues to take the drug. In order for the receptors to function normally, they require the continued use of opiate drugs. At this point, the person is considered dependent, or addicted.
If a person tries to stop taking opiate drugs suddenly, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may emerge. It's common for many users to continue a cycle of drug abuse in an effort to avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate medications were designed to treat acute or chronic pain under medical supervision over a short period of time. When they are being used exactly as prescribed over the short term, painkiller medications serve an important use in pain management.
However, long-term abuse of painkiller medications can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and addiction as the brain begins to adapt to the continued presence of the drug.
Opiates can be used in a number of different ways, including:
Injection: It's common for many heroin users to inject the dissolved substance directly into a vein.
Orally: Most prescription opiate medications are available in pill form, so they're easy to take orally.
Snorted: Some users may crush painkillers into a fine powder that can be snorted into the nostrils in a similar way to cocaine. Snorting the drug allows the body to absorb it faster, which lets the user to feel the effects more quickly. Medications such as OxyContin have a time-release mechanism, so snorting crushed pills can cause accidental overdose.
Suppository: Dissolving opiate drugs in water or other liquid and inserting it into the rectum is an increasingly popular way for some users to abuse drugs. The absorption rate is similar to oral ingestion.
Addiction treatment in Odessa begins with the detox process. If a person seeks professional treatment in a drug addiction treatment center, it's likely they'll be given methadone or Suboxone to help reduce the severity of any withdrawal symptoms that may emerge.
There are two primary options for treating opiate addiction in Odessa: inpatient and outpatient.
Inpatient drug rehab centers require the recovering person to reside at the facility for the duration of treatment. By comparison, outpatient drug rehab requires the person to check in with addiction specialists each day to receive medication and to attend prescheduled therapies and meetings, but they are allowed to return home.
While entering our drug detox center in Odessa is the first stage of treatment for opiate addiction, it doesn't do anything to address the underlying psychological triggers behind self-destructive behaviors. Drug rehab centers provide a range of behavioral therapies and counseling sessions that help a recovering addict develop healthy new coping skills and mechanisms for living a clean and sober lifestyle after leaving the treatment facility.
Treatment for opiate addiction doesn't end when the person graduates from rehab. Most drug rehab centers provide access to a range of aftercare services designed to provide ongoing support and therapy to recovering people to make it easier for them to remain abstinent over the long term. Call us now at (432) 653-4040.