Three Powerful Opiates That are Commonly Abused
Opiates are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the country, which is why the US government has declared an opioid crisis. The statistics behind opioid addiction and overdose are frightening, but there is hope and help available to those who are struggling with opioid addiction. Read on to learn more about some of the most commonly abused opiates, and what addiction looks like in users.
Signs of Heroin Use
Sometimes heroin addiction starts with prescription drug abuse. When a doctor prescribes someone with an opioid pain killer, the user may become addicted to the effects of the drug. When their prescription runs out, they may turn to the streets to obtain heroin, which is also an opiate. Heroin’s effects are stronger, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Heroin on the street can be cut with extremely strong opiates like fentanyl, which greatly increases a user’s chance of overdose. Because heroin is so much easier to obtain than prescription drugs, it is one of the most dangerous opioids.
When someone uses heroin, they may appear sleepy, confused, or sedated, and may be difficult to wake up. Shallow breathing and slowed heart rate are also common. Someone who is addicted to heroin will try to obtain the drugs at all costs, even if it means lying to friends and family members and stealing from loved ones. In the throes of addiction, nothing matters more than getting more drugs.
What does heroin look like?
Heroin is sold on the street as a white, yellow, or brown powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected into a vein. When a person looks at the heroin they are buying, they have no way of telling how pure it is, if it’s been cut with anything, or if they are even purchasing heroin in the first place. Dealers will often try to make a buck off people suffering from addiction and may sell drugs that are impure or cut with other substances.
How long does heroin stay in your system?
When someone uses heroin, they will feel the effects for a few hours and the drug will stay in their systems, appearing on urine tests for up to two days. After taking the drug, an addict may start to experience withdrawal symptoms in six to 12 hours. These symptoms are extremely uncomfortable, including stomach problems, muscle pain, weakness, intense cravings, restlessness, and insomnia. Though acute withdrawal is over within a week, getting through that week is very difficult for those addicted to heroin.
Black tar heroin
Black tar heroin is an impure form of heroin commonly sold in the western and southern states of the US. It usually comes from Mexico and is cheaper than regular heroin, because it’s often significantly less pure. Black tar heroin can cause some dangerous side effects like vein problems and severe, life-threatening infections.
Codeine is sometimes prescribed by doctors to relieve mild to moderate pain and is often used in combination with other medications. It can also be used to treat severe coughing, which is why codeine is sometimes an ingredient in cough syrup. Sometimes it’s combined with promethazine to treat a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, and sinus congestion caused by colds or allergies.
Despite having legitimate medical purposes, codeine can be habit-forming, which is why codeine is only available through prescription in the US. Codeine addiction occurs when someone who takes the drug becomes dependent on it. Symptoms of codeine addiction include cravings for the drug or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you’re unable to obtain more of the drug.
What is codeine?
Codeine is an opiate, and like most opiates, it can relieve pain and sedate the user. When consumed, it is then broken down by the liver and reverted to morphine. Once the liver breaks down the drug, it affects the brain’s reward center and produces feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and general well-being. These feelings are one of the things that make codeine so addictive.
Codeine side effects
Like other opiates, codeine has some dangerous side effects and can cause withdrawal. Codeine side effects include:
● Feeling irritable or anxious aftereffects wear off
● Muscle aches
● Rapid heartbeat
● Loss of appetite
● Stomach problems
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a strong prescription pain reliever and cough suppressant. Like the other opiates mentioned in this article, it’s highly addictive. It is used to treat more serious or chronic pain. When someone is prescribed oxycodone, even if it is taken in the correct dosage and frequency, addiction can occur. Oxycodone abuse is quite common, which is why it’s a Schedule II drug in the United States.
Oxycodone side effects
As a powerful opiate, oxycodone has some alarming side effects. In addition to the common issues like aches and pains, rapid heartbeat, and stomach problems, it can also cause a user’s breathing and heart rate to slow to dangerous levels. Because these opiates act on the central nervous system, they affect functions that are central to our bodies. Someone who uses large amounts of oxycodone can fail to receive enough oxygen to the brain, which can result in serious complications like coma or, in some cases, death.
How long does oxycodone stay in your system?
The pain-relieving and sedating effects of oxycodone last for a few hours, and the drug can stay in your urine for three or four days. For someone who is addicted to oxycodone, withdrawal symptoms may set in after only a few hours pass from their last dose. Of course, the effects and how long oxycodone stays in your system depends on several factors like your age, gender, metabolism, etc.
Help For Opiate Addictions
Those who are struggling with opiate addiction should always detox from drugs while being supervised by a doctor. Because withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be dangerous or even life-threatening, doctors may prescribe drugs to help wean you off opiates. But no matter how long you’ve been taking drugs, recovery is possible. The first step is seeking a form of treatment that works for you.