Opiate Drugs Negative Affects on the Body

Most painkillers are derived from opium, and are classified into a group called opiates. Opium is a natural substance extracted from the poppy plant, and has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and take away physical pain. However, opiates also have the ability to boost the mood and rid the body of depression, which is why some individuals abuse opiate drugs. Opiates, in excessive amounts, are abundant in a number of illegal drugs, like heroin and cocaine. If used incorrectly, medications that contain opium should damage the body severely. Here are some side effects that you should be aware of that may help you to use opiates wisely.

Opiates relax the muscles, which is part of the reason that the medicine has the ability to reduce pain. However, if someone is abusing opiates, the muscles can become too relaxed, and the nerves will be damaged. This can cause involuntary shaking and tremors, particularly in the legs. However, arm and hand shaking is common in opiate addicts as well. Depending on how long a person has been using opiates, this symptom could be impossible to reverse.

Too much opium in the system can keep the body too awake and alert when it should be at rest. This is the reason that many opiate addicts are insomniacs. Addicts may sleep soundly throughout the day and have trouble sleeping at night. Or, they may sleep for a few hours at night, then wake up in the middle of the night without being able to fall asleep again. This can lead to irritability, depression and anxiety. Insomnia also contributes to fatigue, which will make the addict less able to function at work or school.

Concerning changes in appearance are often a give away. Red, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, extreme weight loss or gain, and a swollen face are signs that a person is abusing opiate drugs. If you notice that a loved one has developed one or more of these symptoms, it may be time to seek drug counseling. Opium, in large amounts, can throw the body’s natural defense systems out of whack, and the body may exhibit this by putting on additional weight, developing vision problems or retaining water.

A surge in energy that is seemingly unwarranted and confusing to everyone around the opiate addict is a common addiction symptom. Also, people who are usually friendly and outgoing may begin to act more bashful or reclusive when they have been abusing opium. Marked fatigue and an inability to muster up the energy to do normal tasks like bathing, cooking or driving could be an indication of opiate abuse as well.

If a friend or loved one has been acting erratically, contact a counselor or doctor to discuss intervention options. Often home drug testing can be an effective way to determine if drug abuse is occurring while maintaining privacy for the person in question.



3 Responses to “Opiate Drugs Negative Affects on the Body”

  1. Brittany | August 9, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Can I put my husband in rehab? Or does he have to agree to do it? Im desperate!

  2. laura | August 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Hi Brittany- The short answer is: no.

    The long answer is:
    Most state laws allow a “hands off” approach only. Meaning all you can do is organize an intervention for the person you love that has a drug/alcohol problem. An adult individual has to willingly go to a rehab facility and cannot be physically forced in anyway. The laws are different regarding minors and/or guardianship cases. A minor can be placed into a rehab facility against their will by their legal guardian or parent for the safety of the minor.

    Some states offer mental evaluations if it can be proved in a court of law that the adult individual is a potential danger to themselves or others- but this is only an evaluation. It is virtually impossible to get someone admitted to rehab through a court of law ruling.

    This link might be of some help to you http://www.intervention.com/
    I hope this information has helped you, good luck.

  3. ana | August 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Although he has to consent for treatment you can prove that your husbands use is detrimental to himself or others , and have documented proof of impairment, you can go through the court system and get court ordered mandated treatment. Thus, if he has any driving under the influence charges, health issues, etc. You can present it and he can be mandated.

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