Opiates are drugs that come from opium of the poppy plant. But today, many people use the term “opiate” universally as a name for man-made opioid medications, too. Terms aside, opiates are part of a sweeping epidemic in America. From coast to coast, people of all ages and backgrounds are falling into opiate addiction.

Why do People Take Opiates?

pretty young woman has opiate addictionDoctors prescribe opiates and opioids to treat chronic pain. When individuals get these drugs without a prescription, they’re abusing them for the high they create. The most popular opiates individuals abuse include:

Some man-made forms of opiates are oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl.

Opiates create euphoria and intense relaxation, making them the perfect “escape” drugs. One of the most common signs of opiate use is “nodding off” while talking or doing other things. This nodding off is a sign of the opiate taking effect and numbing the person’s senses.

There are many reasons why people start using opiates, however. Some people start taking painkillers that their doctor prescribes because of real, chronic pain. They move onto illegal opiates like heroin when they can no longer get a prescription. Others continue to buy illegal man-made opioids.

Still, others use opiates as a form of self-medication, much as some people drink alcohol to self-medicate. They may not be aware they have a treatable mental condition like depression, anxiety, ADHD or PTSD. When they take heroin or other opiates these people often feel less troubled at first. Often, drug abuse has roots in mental illnesses.

Regardless of why people use opiates, there is generally one of two outcomes to their personal opiate abuse story. That is, they either enter addiction treatment or they become one of the thousands each year who die from an opiate overdose.

Why is Opiate Addiction so Dangerous?

Opiate addiction is a major cause of death in the United States today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012. That means every American adult could have had at least one legal opioid prescription that year. Abuse of these prescriptions is common and often leads to opiate addiction.

Heroin offers its users a much cheaper high than similar prescription painkillers. It’s also much more widely available on the street. As patients develop a tolerance to their prescription medication and grow tired of trying to find doctors that will write them new prescriptions, turning to heroin is almost a logical next step. Sadly, this step may be one of their last.

The risk of overdosing on heroin or other opiates is extremely high. Over time, to get the same high, people must use more of the drugs. Each higher dose is a gamble toward potential overdose, a condition that often leads to death. Talk to any frequent heroin user and you’ll likely hear stories of people they know who have died while trying to satisfy an opiate addiction.

A Way Out of Opiate Abuse and Addiction

It’s possible to leave opiate addiction behind you. Many people seek help from addiction rehab programs each year and successfully enter lifelong recovery. You can achieve recovery too, through a treatment plan that meets the full spectrum of your needs. If you get help that heals you as a whole being rather than just treating the surface addiction, you can stand solidly in recovery.

Through residential treatment or an intensive outpatient rehab program, you have hope for many brighter, more fulfilling years ahead. San Antonio Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas offers these individualized treatment programs to help you gain the sobriety you covet.

Call San Antonio Recovery Center now at 866-957-7885 for more information about available programs.