Opioids are a class of drugs that are widely abused. Even where not abused, such as when prescribed by a doctor following a surgery with the purpose of killing pain, the patient can become addicted. Opiods include heroin, morphine, dilaudid, and codeine. All are highly addictive, particularly heroin.
The opiod class can be taken by injection or tablet. It is taken this way in both illicit and in medical use. It can also be smoked or snorted, and it is this method that is used in illicit context, though injection is probably the most popular method used by illicit users. Sadly, this can lead to AIDS since users are often careless about cleaning needles, or even share them with others.
Short term effects of opiod addiction include vomiting, drowsiness, nausea, contracted pupils, moist skin blue in color and labored breathing. In cases of overdose, breathing may become so labored that the cardiopulmonary system may fail, leading to suffocation. Long term effects of opiod addiction include pneumonia, blood clots, infections in the lining of the heart and heart attacks, stroke, liver disease, and ultimately death. Withdraw symptoms are extremely intense, and they are some of the most devastating and hardest to cope with.
Those who have unintentionally become hooked, such as those who took opiods post surgery, may have to seek help from a rehab clinic. The same is true for those who have begun to use opiods in recreational context. But rest assured that there is hope for your loved ones that find themselves at the mercy of the hard taskmaster that is opiod addiction. There are many addiction treatment centers that can guide the user through a detox, along with the aid of medications to decrease the horrid discomfort incidental to withdrawal symptoms. These centers also also offer counseling since the reason the person began using in the first place is often related to a greater emotional issue. Courses in relapse prevention can also be found at such a center. Alternatively, you may want to talk to your GP, especially when addiction has been a direct result of the opiods you were prescribed by a doctor. Whoever you talk to, talk to someone today, before it is too late.