Opiate Treatment Center Austin
Opiates are a class of drugs also known as painkillers. The drugs may be available by prescription, such as Vicodin or OxyContin, or they may be street drugs like heroin. Any time opiates are taken for non-medical reasons, they can be highly addictive and dangerous.
Prescription opiates typically come in pill form and are taken orally. However, some users will crush the pills into powder that can be snorted or mixed with water and injected, which gives them a faster, more intense “high.” Heroin also comes in powder form or it can be found in a sticky tar-like substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin may be snorted, smoked or dissolved in water and injected.
Effects of Opiates on the Mind and Body
Opiates cause changes to the brain that lead to a surge of euphoria, followed by extreme relaxation. They are also known for their ability to mask pain.
In addition, opiates may cause the following effects:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slower respiratory rate
- Drowsiness and confusion
- Lower body temperature
- Memory lapses
Over the long term, the effects of opiate use can be devastating on both the mind and body. Because the drugs tend to suppress appetite, they can lead to weight loss and even malnutrition. Some studies have also suggested street opiates like heroin may damage the white matter in the brain, which may be a permanent effect even after the drug is stopped. This is particularly concerning considering the fact that many people that start out abusing prescription opiates may turn to heroin late on because the street drug is cheaper and easier to get.
Signs of Opiate Abuse
If someone has become addicted to opiates, the following signs may appear:
- Needing more of the drug to get the same effects (tolerance)
- Increases sensitivity to sights and sounds
- Erratic mood shifts and personality changes
- Withdrawal from family, friends and activities
- Neglecting responsibilities at work and at home
- More time spent using and recovery from the effects of the drug
- Doctor “shopping” to get more prescriptions
- Extreme weight loss and signs of malnutrition
- Withdrawal symptoms and cravings if the drug is stopped
Treatment for Opiate Abuse
Opiates are highly addictive and difficult for users to stop taking without professional treatment. The Last Resort staff works with those addicted to both prescription and street opiates, helping them turn away from the addiction to discover a life of improved health and long-term sobriety. To learn more about the treatment programs at The Last Resort, contact us today at 512-750-6750.