Utah Opiate Addiction

Definition

Many heroin addicts will resort to using prescription opiate pills to satisfy their heroin addiction and to help curb their withdrawal symptoms. Most heroin addicts first started their opiate addiction through opiate prescription pain pills. However, not all heroin addicts are addicted to or are using opiate prescription pain pills. Opiate prescription addiction and abuse is on a national rise, especially in the state of Utah. It is suggested this is primarily due to easy access to prescription refills from doctors as well as the “clean appearance” associated with merely only swallowing the pills and not having any of those “dirty junkie” behaviors who use pipes and needles. Unfortunately no addict ever plans on progressing to the use of pipes and needles, it just eventually happens out of drug survivorship.

Any human being that is prescribed or has access to prescription pain pills is susceptible to develop an addiction with opiates. Either a physical or a psychological dependency or both simultaneously can occur without the user even being aware of it. The user will suddenly experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms from abstinence and therein starts the cycle of addiction to avoid going through withdrawals and to keep the good times rolling. The now addicted individual will do whatever it takes to obtain more opiate pain pills and may resort to heroin if no longer as easily accessible. The results can be fatal if a high enough dose is taken or mixed with alcohol or benzodiazepines. The number of accidental overdoses and death are very high when it comes to opiate prescription addiction. In fact there are more deaths from prescription pills in the nation then there are from automobile accidents (SAMHSA, 2012). There are so many different types of opiate prescriptions on the market. Pharmaceutical manufacturers seem to keep producing different kinds, and as long as they are available…there will be opiate prescription addiction. Some of the more common types of opiate prescription medications are as follows:

  • Hydrocodone
    • Lortab
    • Vicodin
    • Anexsia
    • Co-Gesic
    • Hycodan
    • Lorcet
    • Norco
    • Procet
    • Vanacet
    • Vicoprofen
    • Zamicet
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
    • OxyContin
    • Percocet
    • Percodan
    • Perloxx
    • Roxicet
    • Roxicodone
    • Taxadone
    • Tylox
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
    • Demerol
  • Methadone
    • Diskets
    • Dolophine
    • Methadose
  • Buprenorphine
    • Suboxone
    • Subutex
  • Hydromorphone
    • Dilaudid
  • Oxymorphone
    • Opana

Signs and Symptoms of Use

Common signs of an opiate prescription addiction are:

  • Coming up with ways (physical/mental health issues) to get more pills
  • Doctor shopping
  • General lack of interest in treatment and prefers pills over getting help
  • Openly asking for prescriptions from other individuals
  • Suddenly missing different pill jars or pills from your jar
  • Addict is constantly running out of prescription before refill date
  • Becomes extremely ornery when prescription runs out
  • Loss of control
  • Constantly requesting money and has none of their own
  • Sudden loss of job and inability to remain gainfully employed
  • Involvement with the legal system
  • Mood swings
  • Personal material things of the addict start disappearing
  • Personal material things of friends, family and loved ones start missing
  • Majority of relationship with friends and family are negatively affected
  • Isolation from both friends, family and loved ones
  • Depression is prevalent with an attitude of not caring about anything
  • Manipulative behaviors
  • Money is missing or stolen and checks are not balancing anymore
  • Eye pupils are the size of pin heads despite a light or dark environment
  • Telling lies and getting caught in them more often than not
  • Personal hygiene starts to really suffer
  • Appears slowed down and mellow with an overall lack of interest
  • Drastic change by staying awake through the night and sleeping during the day
  • Sudden rapid weight loss with little to no interest in eating
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Track marks (sores) in arms and legs, neck, etc.
  • Voice sounds slower, slurred and much deeper than usual
  • Alternating between feeling alert and drowsy (“nodding in and out of consciousness”)
  • Facial color is pale and gaunt in nature with minimal animation
  • Sudden craving of high caloric fatty foods such as sweets and chocolate, etc.

Common symptoms of an opiate prescription addiction are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Scarred and/or collapsed veins
  • Warm skin flush
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Harder to think clearly due to clouded central nervous system
  • Respiratory problems and/or failure
  • Circulatory problems and/or failure
  • Pulmonary problems and/or failure
  • Continually use to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Random and spontaneous premature birth and/or miscarriage
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Tolerance from prolonged use requiring higher dosages
  • Vomit and nausea
  • Heavy feeling in body extremities
  • Running nose and eyes
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Night vision is further impaired
  • Surges of euphoria
  • Premature death
  • Infections and Diseases from Injecting
    • Liver disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C
    • Pneumonia
    • Bronchitis
    • Tuberculosis
    • HIV
    • AIDS
    • STAFF
    • Gangrene 
    • Bacterial
    • Abscesses
    • Heart lining and valves
    • Cellulitis
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
    • Often begin hours from last use
    • Worst part is between first 48-72 hours of abstinence
    • Lasting seven (7) days up to two (2) weeks
    • Overwhelmingly strong cravings for more opiate pain pills
    • Body and muscle aches
    • Diarrhea and vomiting
    • Runny nose and eyes
    • Depression and dysphoria
    • Anxiety
    • Insomnia
    • Cold and hot flashes
    • Chills and goosebumps
    • Restless leg syndrome (constant shaking to cope with symptoms)
    • Inability to feel comfortable
  • Overdose Symptoms
    • Dry mouth
    • Small constricted pupils
    • Constipation
    • Labored or stopped breathing
    • Low blood pressure and weak pulse
    • Cold skin with a bluish tinge of color on lips and finger nails
    • Drowsiness
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Possible coma
    • Death

Treatment for Opiate Prescription Addiction

One addiction is really no different from another, so in other words if you or a loved one has a life threatening opiate prescription addiction, you must seek after immediate professional treatment help. The first step you are going to want to go through is detoxification to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Most detoxification and residential facilities allow a person addicted to opiates to taper with synthetic opioids such as Methadone or Suboxone. Although these drugs have been known to help with curbing cravings, they are still agonists meaning they attach themselves to the opioid mu receptors acting in place of what the opiate is already doing for the addict. This can be very dangerous as the addict is still vulnerable and new to the ways of recovery and will never fully embrace recovery if relying on a chemical dependency to cope with life on life’s terms. Make sure to keep this in mind as you are selecting the right treatment center. You may go through a “social detoxification” which involves placement in a residential inpatient drug treatment program relying heavily on the staff and group family for support and guidance.

The next step will be inpatient treatment to force a physical separation between you and the opiate prescription(s). You will give your brain the necessary rest it requires to function again. You may require Naltrexone pills or shots to curb possible cravings, and to help with deppresion symptoms. This will also allow time for you to become aware of your triggers and reasons behind using. You will also be able to further develop new alternative healthy coping skills. You will explore your underlying and mental health issues.

To finally recover from your opiate prescription addiction, you must then complete outpatient aftercare to ensure accountability and to keep you healthy and on the right track. Upon successfully completion of both detoxification, inpatient and outpatient programs, one can expect to continue to regularly attend 12-Step meetings. You might find yourself living in a monitored environment such as “Sober Living” too. Zion Recovery Center is able to provide these different levels of care and is an expert provider when it comes to opiate prescription addiction therapy. We address the Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) an opiate addict can expect to experience within the first year of their recovery. We develop a personalized and individual relapse prevention and safety plan dealing with the thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Our clients successfully complete their inpatient residential stay in 60-90 days and our outpatient treatment program within 90-180 days on average. If a Zion Recovery Center client desires to move into a sober living home, we are willing to help them through every step until this occurs. Zion Recovery Center’s promise is backed with a lifetime guarantee. Call for immediate help with an opiate prescription addiction today.
385-207-2029