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Drug Detox From Opiate Addiction

By Michael Graham

A United Nations survey from 2008 stated that the use of opiates in the United States by the general population has been pretty steady over the past several years. Approximately 0.6% of Americans regularly use opiates which ranks 17th in the World. Iran has the highest usage at 2.8%. This is not current usage, but lifetime usage of people dependent on opiates.

Approximately 0.6% of Americans regularly use opiates. This ranks 17th in the World where Iran has the highest usage at 2.8%. This is not regular usage, but usage of people dependent on opiates. Another piece of data from a study on opiate addiction found that usage among people without jobs is 20 times that of people that hold down full-time, or even part-time, jobs. Apparently some people in the United States can down jobs and use opiates recreationally, but these people make up just over 1% of the employed population while amongst the unemployed opiates usage is more than 3%. So, there is plenty of evidence to suggest there are a number of recreational users whose lives aren’t impacted by their recreational usage.

Opiates can be ingested in a variety of ways, depending on the type of drug and the preference of the user. Heroin for instance can be injected, smoked or snorted while many other opiates come in pill form-like vicodin and oxycontin. Even if it is originally produced in pill form, addicts still can snort it, smoke it, or inject it to speed up the entry into the bloodstream and maximize the euphoric effects.

The euphoric effects of opiate usage arise soon after the drug gets into your bloodstream and will disappear after only a couple of hours. If it is injected, the addict feels a rush followed by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and heavy limbs. After this the drug user goes into an alternating state of alertness and drowsiness. Because the central nervous system is depressed by the drug, mental acuity is lessened, speech becomes slurred, lethargy sets in, eyelids droop, vomiting can occur, and oftentimes constipation.

Longer term effects of opiate usage can include pulmonary complications due to infection of the heart valves and lining, collapsed veins, and various types of pneumonia due to the general poor lifestyle of the heavy user. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, many forms of opiate acquired on the street will have additional substances added to increase the volume of the product available for sale thereby increasing the profits of the dealer. These additives may not always be dissolved once the opiate is introduced into the bloodstream resulting in clogging of the blood vessels that lead to vital organs.

If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to opiates and is desiring to get help, the first step in the recovery process would be going through a detox process where the opiates are given a chance to leave the tissues of the body. Because the withdrawal symptoms can be difficult and include nausea, body aches, cravings, cold sweats, and insomnia it is generally best if you seek professional help. A good quality opiate detox program will last about 10 days and include prescription medications to help ease the pain of withdrawals and get you on the right track to recovering from your opiate addiction and leading a product, sober life.

Pathways Recovery provides several options for people seeking addiction or substance abuse treatment or counseling. For many people they will need to check themselves into our Sacramento Drug Rehab program, but for others they may choose to seek help through ourOutpatient Drug Counseling located in the Sacramento area.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Graham, Michael "Drug Detox From Opiate Addiction." Drug Detox From Opiate Addiction. 21 Jun. 2010. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Graham, M (2010, June 21). Drug Detox From Opiate Addiction. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Graham, Michael "Drug Detox From Opiate Addiction"

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