Opiates are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. They are very effective at treating pain and are found in many different types of painkillers, including:
Opiates help alleviate aches and discomfort by inhibiting pain receptors in the brain. They can also give the body a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. Although opiates can certainly be physically addictive, they are psychologically addictive as well.
How Opiate Addiction Begins
Physicians often prescribe opiates to those who need help to subdue pain, but they also cause the body to build a tolerance that can eventually lead to addiction.
This addiction can cause many physical issues including dependency. Eventually the patient will need the drug in order to function properly. In fact, once they become addicted, it is almost impossible to quit without experiencing adverse side effects. These side effects are not only physical but also psychological. The psychological addiction is very hard to break, especially for those with a pre-existing mental condition.
Mental Health Issues and Opiate Addiction
Many times a patient will become addicted to an opiate because it may help him or her escape from something he is dealing with. Even if people begin using them for legitimate reasons, people often find the effects of the drug so pleasing that it becomes easy to take them for other reasons.
Prescription drugs that contain opiates will then soon be used recreationally to temporarily make them feel better about their situation. Other patients may already be suffering from illnesses like depression, and the opiates will help them feel better.
Some mental health conditions that opiate addiction may affect or be affected by can include the following:
Any of the above mental health issues can affect opiate addiction. Opiate addiction can also have an impact on any one of these disorders. Basically, having any of these health issues can cause an even stronger psychological addiction than normal. More often a patient will relapse when they are suffering from one of the above mental health issues than those that don’t have them. If this is the situation you are in, you need Dual Diagnosis treatment to better heal from both addiction and the mental health condition.
Breaking Free from Opiate Addiction
Detox from opiate addiction is just half the battle. Once you have broken the physical addiction, then most patients will need to undergo psychological withdrawal as well.
Since many opiate addicts are using the drug to help them feel better from things like depression, only professional counseling will help with the mental withdrawal. Psychological rehab will typically include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, spiritual guidance and personal accountability. This is crucial for those trying to quit the addiction.
Take a listen to Sierra Tucson discussing co-occuring addiction treatment methods.
Need Help Breaking Free From Opiate Addiction?
If you or someone you know has an addiction to opiates, we are here to help. Even if you aren’t sure that your addiction is real, then we can help you find that answer. You can call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day at 844-675-1221.
We can even help you figure out your insurance coverage for addiction services. We are here to see you through a safe and quick recovery. Don’t do this alone. Call us today.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton