Opiate Addiction in Cherry Hill, NJ

Opiates are drugs that act on specific opioid receptors that relieve pain in the body. The term is used to describe both legal and illegal drugs, such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers like oxycodone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 2.5 million people in the United States are addicted to some type of opiate medication or heroin. Opiate addiction in Cherry Hill is a real and growing problem -- one that often requires addiction treatment to help a person conquer their addiction before they suffer health consequences that could include death.

What is Opiate Addiction?

Opiate medications are a prime example of how just because a substance can be legally prescribed does not mean it cannot be abused. First, opiate medications prescribed for a short course after surgery, trauma, or other acute pain experiences should be taken to alleviate pain. However, when a person starts taking pain medications long-term after an injury has healed or uses the medications other than as prescribed -- such as taking larger doses more frequently, crushing and snorting the medications, or taking them without a prescription -- they are behaving as if addicted to opiates.

Opiates, especially heroin, have highly addictive properties. When a person takes them, they cause changes in the brain that can lead to feelings of euphoria. The brain and body become addicted to these sensations and will start to seek out the drug again and again. Ultimately, the body will become accustomed to regular amounts of the drug and will experience withdrawals if opiates aren't used. These effects can be why opiate addiction in Cherry Hill is so hard to overcome without the help of an opiate addiction treatment center.

Dangers of Opiate Addiction

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of overdose deaths due to prescription opioids has quadrupled in the past 18 years. Nearly 200,000 Americans have died from prescription opiate overdoses. The most common drugs involved in these deaths are methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Heroin overdose rates have quadrupled since 2010, with an estimated 13,000 people dying from heroin overdose in 2010, according to the CDC. This number is particularly growing for young people ages 18 to 25 who unfortunately overdose due to opiate addiction.

In addition to the risks for overdose and death, opiate addiction in Cherry Hill can have short and long-term health effects. Opiates can cause paranoia, depression, and can slow a person's breathing. This can lead to increased risks for respiratory infections as well as cardiac arrest and brain damage. Opiate addiction can also lead to liver damage and organ failure. If a person abuses opiates like heroin by injecting them, they are at an increased risk of infection in the heart known as endocarditis as well as infections from sharing needles, such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Opiate Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Opiate addiction can be difficult to recognize in another person. They may not realize they are addicted until their problem becomes more advanced. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the main signs of addiction is that a person can't limit their use of a particular substance beyond what a doctor recommends or prescribes. A person develops a tolerance for the drug and will have to use more and more to achieve the same effects. This can potentially lead to opiate overdose.

Other common symptoms associated with opiate addiction include:

  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Affected motivation
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping more or less than is normal
  • Slow or shallow breathing rate
  • Slurred speech

When a person suffers from opiate addiction in Cherry Hill, they feel like their body can't go on without using the drug. They will start to seek it out obsessively, even if it puts their health, job, and relationships with others in jeopardy. They will experience strong cravings for the drug and withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, pain, and nausea, when they stop taking the drug due to physical dependency. This leads to a loss of control that can indicate the strong need for opiate addiction rehab. Taking this step and seeking addiction treatment and medical detox in Cherry Hill may be what saves their life.

Admitting a person suffers from opiate addiction in Cherry Hill and seeking addiction treatment may not always be easy, but it can stop the vicious cycle of abuse. A person addicted to prescription opiates may turn to street drugs like heroin if they can no longer obtain their prescriptions.

These drugs are not only dangerous, they are illegal to abuse, and a person can face arrest and legal action due to their abuse. Seeking help at our opiate addiction rehab facility can help a person start to break the hold that opiates have over them, starting with the detox process and ultimately learning to live a life free from opiate misuse and abuse. Call Cherry Hill Drug Rehab Centers today at (856) 347-4839.

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