Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Opiates, The New Epidemic, And Drug Detox: How You Can Help

by Caitlin Obara

In an election year, you have senators and representatives talking about how opiates have affected their lives. They attempt to appeal to the people on a human level, but what they have missed is how incredibly massive this new epidemic has become. One representative, who is far past her prime, talks about how her mother was an addict fifty years ago, and then names the statistics for her state. 

States like Illinois and Ohio had to legalize the carrying of Nar-Can in ambulance vehicles because of the increase in drug overdoses and the number of deaths from opiates and opioids. West Virginia has the highest rate of opiate- and opioid-related drug deaths in the countryDrug detox programs are in overload, and need help. If you want to help turn this crisis around, here is what you can do.

Understand the Addictive Nature of Opiates and Opioids

Opiates and opioids bind to certain receptors in the brain. The brain interprets what is happening as pleasurable, so it does not receive pain messages. As such, people who use these drugs and abuse them for emotional and psychological pain become physically addicted to them. They tend to shed their inhibitions (that which stops people from harming themselves and others) and do incredibly dangerous things that often get them killed. If they do not die, they look for a higher "high" and a bigger thrill. 

Recognize the Symptoms

You can tell when someone is abusing opiates and opioids. They have a glassy stare, sleep a lot, seem very relaxed unless their adrenaline kicks in, and they may say or do things that are out of character for them. If you think that someone you know is using and abusing these drugs, get help. Call the police and an ambulance, since an overdose is very easy to do when you swallow a handful of these pills. 

Understand That the Drug Detox Is Going to Be Very Difficult

Drug detox for these people is both life-threatening and painful. As they withdraw from the drugs, they will feel physical and psychological pain like never before. It takes days to come out of a high, and months before they can function well enough to come out of treatment. Relapses are always a threat. If the person or persons you are trying to help want to be helped, he or she is going to need you close by as much as possible.

For more information, contact establishments like Support Systems Homes.