Addiction of Opiates

Heroin, Codeine, papaverine and morphine all are related drugs, as they all have the same source. These drugs are deprived from the latex produced from the plant opium, which is scientifically called papaver somniferum from the family papaveracea, by incision.

Generally, drugs that are deprived from this plant are called opioids.

Clinically: Opioids are considered as narcotic analgesics, they are usually combined with anesthetics. They also can be used as cough sedatives and astringent in diarrhea. But the abuse of these drugs without consulting a physician or a pharmacist always leads to dependency and then addiction.

This article will focus on the pharmacological effect of opioids, the symptoms that result from their abuse and withdrawal and how to treat or overcome their addiction.

1- Let’s start with Morphine:
It’s the most strong sedative, it changes the way of perception of pain, it’s given mainly as injection before and after operations and during anesthesia, also acts as gastric sedative.

Although the CLINICAL doses DO NOT CAUSE ADDICTION. It’s highly addictive, the body builds up tolerance to it so larger and larger doses may be necessary to have the same effect. Morphine also depresses the function of the brain center that controls respiration so high doses of morphine can kill by respiratory arrest.

Morphine interacts mainly with the opioid receptors in certain brain cells and other anatomical structures as the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary bladder.

Effects of morphine on the body include:
1- Pin point pupil.
2- vomiting.
3- decrease the reflex effect of cough.
4- Morphine decreases the respiratory rate by depression of respiratory centers, which may cause death by overdosing.
5- Analgesia.
6- Morphine activates the reward system of the brain leading to the sense of contentment.
7- morphine releases histamine from mast cells leading to urticaria
8- Increases the secretion of growth hormone.

Dependence and Tolerance to the drug:
Dependence to morphine occurs due to its effects of depression, sedation and analgesia.

Withdrawal produces a series of autonomic, motor, and psychological responses that incapacitate the individual and cause serious symptoms, although it is rare that the effects cause death.

2- Codeine:
Codeine is a moderately strong opiate drug that is used in pain relief when combined with acetaminophen and for the suppression of coughs at doses that don’t cause analgesia. Codeine crosses the blood brain barrier and activates the reward system in the brain by stimulating the release of certain neurotransmitters.

Some individuals use for legal medical purposes, but over time develop an addiction problem. After prolonged use an individual develops a tolerance for this substance and needs to take more and more of the drug in order to feel the effects.

3- Heroin:
Heroin is considered an opiate not an opioid as it’s synthesized partially in a lab by the acetylation of morphine.

Heroin is highly addictive opiate drug which is considered to be the most common of them.

Heroin is more potent than morphine

Most street heroin is cut with substances as sugar or starch or powdered milk, therefore heroine abusers don’t actually know the true strength of the drug, and they are at high risk of overdose and death.

Heroine is commonly injected, sniffed or smoked.

Treatment of addiction of opiates:
It’s not simple. Because addiction is a chronic disease, people can’t simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.

Apomorphine: is a substance which is administered to the addict ( primarily heroin addicts) for approximately seven days leading to detoxifying the addict’s body with little or no side effects.

Methadone: which was developed by the Nazis during the world war II after the shortage of morphine, doctors where able to discover a drug that not only worked, but also lasted for a long time.

Buprenorphine: partial agonist that has mild opiate effects and reduces withdrawal cravings ( popular in France)

Doloxine: psychotic way to detoxification, but the side-effects are nasty.

Quick Guide When Preparing A Loved One For Drug Rehab Treatment

Finally, your loved one decides to bring an end to his or her drug addiction problem by undergoing rehab treatment, what’s the next game plan? I’m going to give you a quick guide when preparing a loved for drug rehab treatment and become successful.

How to explore various drug treatment programs?

There are countless ways to get on track with this mission of finding the best drug addiction rehab center available in your area and below are some of them for your convenience.

Perform relevant research

This is one of the surest ways you and your loved one who is suffering from drug addiction will need to do to find the ideal drug treatment programs perform relevant research before you even contact drug rehab centers in your area. You can check from your local directory listing names of registered rehab treatment facilities operating near you that cater to all types of drugs and substance abused. You can also ask referrals from clubs or organizations focused in helping individuals with issues of drug addiction including their families solve this problem.

Conduct physical visitation

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential drug rehab addiction centers near your area, the next task is conduct physical visitation. Why? This will give you a clear idea on how well-maintained the rehab facilities and verify if the people working there are highly trained to handle all cases of drug addiction. You can also ask for the proofs of licenses to ensure you are dealing with legitimate rehab centers.

Request an estimated cost of rehab treatment

Expect cost of rehab treatment programs to vary from provider to another. If you want to know the cost of a rehab treatment, request an estimated cost from your potential rehab treatment center and inquire if your loved one can claim it in his or her medical insurance plan.

How to prepare the loved one for the drug rehab treatment?

Here are the common practices to help a loved one prepare and look forward for the drug rehab treatment center:

Start with the withdrawal phase

This is definitely one of the most challenging trials that you and your loved one suffering from drugs and substance abused will have to deal with, the withdrawal phase. You need to research first the side effects or symptoms that will affect the person trying to withdraw from drugs. For example, if your loved one is addicted to drug, among the side effects that he or she will experience during the initial withdrawal are profuse seating, change in sleeping pattern, mood swings, feeling of anxiety. If any of these symptoms are present, help your loved one deal with them positively by affirming him or her that the final outcome of this struggle is for his or her complete recovery. You can also introduce your loved one to activities that will help him or her remain calm or relaxed like going out for a family outing or having enough sleep will alleviate a troubled mind.

Be physically present during the day of admission

There’s no better way to show you really care with a loved one about to be admitted for a drug rehab residential treatment is by being physically present. Make sure your presence is felt all throughout the treatment process and be there to give moral support whenever your loved ones feels withdrawing or showing defeat. Whenever he or she is showing signs of struggles during the rehab process, continue to show physical and emotional support by making an effort to visit your loved one frequently and checking the progress.

A Ringside View of Substance Abuse Among Athletes

The problem of substance abuse is so ubiquitous that there is hardly any discipline where people are free from its tentacles. People from all walks of life have succumbed to addiction. Even in the world of sports, athletes are not infallible and independent from its ominous reach. Incidents of athletes being caught in doping tests are quite common. There are many athletes who have had fallen from grace because of their brush with drugs.

Why athletes abuse drugs

Whether or not it is ethical to take even a harmless amount of drug to enhance performance could be a matter of perennial debate, but there have been many sportspersons who did cross the line, trudged the path, and dabbled with substances enlisted as forbidden. Athletes abuse illicit substances for various reasons. Some of these are:

To alleviate physical pain: Sport is an enduring field which demands a lot of energy, stamina, and resilience from sportsmen. The pressure and competition are tremendous and those who lack physical and mental tenacity do buckle at times. Some resort to drugs to ease physical pain gotten from the sport that invariably lands them into trouble.

To self-medicate for mental conditions: Many athletes use drugs and other banned substances to self-treat mental conditions which are otherwise not treatable.

To handle pressure: Sportspersons sometimes take these illegal drugs to deal with stressors. There is a constant pressure on them to perform and excel in their respective sport, which builds up a lot of stress inside. So, they start misusing these drugs to manage their stress, to perform better, to manage injuries, and to deal with the pressure of retiring from the sport.

Drug abuse by sportspersons, not a recent phenomenon

Doping in sports is not new and dates back to ancient times. Even Greek Olympic athletes took various brandy and wine concoctions and consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms and sesame seeds to improve performance. They even knew about various plants which could be used to improve speed and endurance, mask physical pain and improve overall performance.

However, even in those times, these acts were considered unethical. In modern times, the first case of doping was reported in 1904. High-level athletes reportedly abused concoction of drugs like cocaine, strychnine, heroin, and caffeine during the 1920s. But, it was in 1966 at the European Championships that actual drug testing started, followed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) two years later that conducted the first drug tests at the summer and winter Olympics.

Drugs abused by athletes

There is a string of drugs used by athletes to gain a one-upmanship over others, unethically of course. Ranging from prescription drugs to other recreational drugs, athletes have been using a host of drugs that fall into the categories of androgens, growth hormone and growth factors, stimulants, nutritional supplements, beta agonists, beta blockers and others.

Side effects of illicit drugs used by athletes

It is difficult to ascertain the side effects of most of the drugs used by athletes because of the high doses consumed by them. But, it cannot be denied that these drugs do have short- and long-term impacts. Given their ill effects, these drugs cannot be tried and tested on participants to unravel the side effects. Most of the inferences are drawn from speculations.

Drug addiction is treatable, provided there is an early intervention and at the right treatment center. Treatment intervention methods like neurotransmitter therapy or Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) therapy are immensely helpful in treating substance abuse patients.