Monday, February 8, 2010
Addiction to Opiates
When a co-worker started to show weird signs of possible drug addiction to specifically opiates; which is any drug derived from the opium poppy plant. The common ones are morphine, heroin, and codeine. As well as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan)and hydrocodone (Vicodin)to name a few more. She claimed to have really bad head aches and that tylenol alone would relieve her pain. She confided in me that she took a tylenol with codeine in 800mg tablets and she would use 4-6 every time. Well every time I turned around she was popping more in her mouth. So I decided to look into these 'magic pills' as she called them.
I quickly discovered that "in sufficiently high doses, they can produce a euphoric state. For this reason, they are often used as recreational drugs. Psychological and physical dependence leading to addiction is common in frequent opiate users. The body quickly adjusts to the use of opiates such that increasingly larger doses are needed to produce the same euphoric effect. Overdosing, sometimes resulting in fatal respiratory failure, occurs when addicts take more than their body can handle.' (quote from Health Tips: Opiate Addiction Syndrome)
I was watching my friend numb herself to death. I also learned that addicts become less able to function the longer they're on them and the way of ingesting them goes from simple pill popping to snorting or injecting to get the fix faster.
One day I went into the lounge and found her asleep, or so I thought. I had to slap her hard to wake her up she was disoriented and dizzy. Other side effects of opiate addiction include: dry mouth, slow, shallow or labored breathing, pupil dilation, and drowsiness. When I realized what path she was rapidly heading I decided to look further into how to help rid herself of this dependency.
I knew detox would be required first and foremost. I also learned that she could get counseling to help her identify why she had the headaches or what might be triggering her discomfort. I also learned that a lot of opiate users start because of stress.
I talked to her about my concern, she seemed half-way convinced she might have an issue. So I suggested that we look together for a place to get some questions answered. It took some time to convince her but after showing her some of the information I had found and several pictures of herself before her addiction. She began to completely agree with me.
We search for a place she could get the help she needed. There are several places that specialize in opiate detox programs.