The History of Opioid and Fentanyl Addiction
Originally derived from the opium poppy, opiates have been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The active substance in opium is morphine, a powerful but highly addictive painkiller.
Aware of the addictive problems with morphine, scientists have long attempted to create a less addictive form of the drug for use as a painkiller. Used largely on the battlefield during times of war, many soldiers found themselves addicted after a wartime injury. Codeine and Heroin are both opium derivatives that were intended to decrease dependency, but were highly unsuccessful.
Today, about 2.1 million Americans have a heroin or opiate addiction. On average, 130 people die from an opiate overdose every day in the United States. Statistics show that only about 10% of people with an opiate addiction will receive proper treatment.
Problems Associated with Heroin and Opiate Use
Opioid and fentanyl addiction is a pattern of using that can be described as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. Opiate addiction is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness caused by repeated use or misuse.
Opioid and Fentanyl Addiction Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and can set in within hours after reduced or completed consumption. Signs and symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Muscle cramping and spasms
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
Risks Associated with Prolonged Opioid and Fentanyl Addiction
Opioid and fentanyl addiction can cause serious health problems including:
- Collapsed veins from IV use
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Abscesses at injection site
- Constipation and stomach cramping
- Liver and kidney disease
- Lung complications, including pneumonia
- Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- HIV and hepatitis from shared needle use
- Overdose and death
Detoxification from Heroin and Opiates
At Gateway Recovery Center, the detoxification process for heroin and opiates is highly monitored and medically assisted to minimize withdrawal symptoms complications. Individuals are closely monitored and medicated to ensure comfort, stability, and safety during the detoxification process.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in need of opioid and fentanyl addiction detoxification services, a compassionate, trained professional is waiting to answer all of your questions. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer calls or provide information on immediate admissions. We know the first step can be hard. We’re here to guide you.