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Opiate Addiction and Treatment

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Opiates are are extracted from poppy flowers, which are usually grown in the Middle East or Asia. There are three main types of opiates which have been produced directly from poppy flowers but there have been many more semi synthetic ones produced as research in to the substance has grown. Opiates are known for binding to the pain receptors and other opioid receptors in the body and as such they reduce the sensation of being in pain. They are also noted for producing a feeling of calmness and euphoria, and for this reason they are known as one of the most addictive substances. However, opiates in their many different forms are still prescribed by medical practitioners on a daily basis.

Treatment Options

Opiate Detox: For those that experience severe withdrawal symptoms, they may require a medically supervised detox program prior to entering residential treatment.

Opiate Rehab: Treatment includes medication for depression or other disorders, counseling by experts and sharing of experience with other addicts. Some rehab centers include meditation and spiritual wisdom in the treatment process.

Verify Insurance: The vast majority of people that enter residential treatment use insurance to fully or partially fund health care expenses. Sober Freedom accepts most insurance and we will verify with your provider free of charge to determine if you are covered fully or partially.


Addiction develops when a person starts to use more and more of the drug for reasons other than what it was originally prescribed for. Maybe they want to experience the feeling of euphoria to calm them down, anxiety is a common withdrawal effect so without realizing it a user may start taking the opiate to prevent these effects of withdrawal. A patient may also feel that they are not getting the same amount of relief from their normal dose so they will take a larger amount as their body has built up a tolerance and so the condition of addiction worsens

Withdrawal and Treatment

Detoxification from an opiate based drug is a very unpleasant experience, it will involve some quite severe withdrawal effects and may leave the patient feeling so awful they want to die. However this does pass eventually as long as they do not choose to relapse. Sometimes if the addiction is severe other medications will be given to replace the opiate without causing withdrawal effects. Often this is a semi-synthetic form of an opiate which works to reverse any euphoric symptoms or other addictive qualities whilst preventing the side effects from becoming severe. This treatment may last a long time and eventually the dose will need to be gradually tapered off so that the addict can eventually become free of all opiates in their system. Perhaps the best way of avoiding this chance of relapse is to admit the patient in to a drug rehabilitation center and there are many of these that are specifically for patients who have an addiction to opiates.


Many recovering drug addicts enter into counseling sessions, sometimes privately and often in groups where they can talk and share their experiences, find help and support when they need it and give it to others who may also be in need. They will also find support to make any permanent changes to their lives in order to avoid chances of relapses such as severing relationships with drug users or moving to a new area.


Morphine was the first product to be isolated from the plant and was noted very early on for it’s analgesic qualities. It was commonly used in the battlefields of war grounds and so many wounded soldiers found themselves becoming addicted, so much so any addiction was called “soldiers disease”. In America in 1970, morphine was named as a controlled substance under the new controlled substances act and it’s use has been monitored closely ever since.


Codeine was extracted and isolated in 1832, it was a milder form of morphine but still a powerful pain killing drug. It was found that Codeine works particularly well when it is combined with other pain killing drugs that don’t contain narcotics such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It works particularly well for treating tooth pain and arthritic pain, in smaller doses it is available to purchase at pharmacies without the need of a prescription.


Thebain is basically a weaker version of the other opiates, it is marketed under names such as Vicodin and can be used for mild to moderate pain relief. It is the least likely to become a substance of abuse but as it still contains opiates, addiction does still occur, typically users will have to take a much higher dose to experience the euphoria noted in the stronger formulations.


Contrary to popular belief, Heroin is not derived directly from opiates, its scientific name is diacetylmorphine and it is a combination of morphine and the chemical substance known as Acetic anhydride. Heroin is able to pass through the blood stream and in to the brain at a much faster rate the morphine and as such it is named as being much more effective but also more addictive than Morphine.