Opiate Addiction Treatments

Methadone maintenance is a highly effective and widely used treatment for individuals who have been struggling with addictions to opiates such as morphine and heroin. However, as the information on this page indicates, morphine and heroin are not the only opiates whose use can quickly progress into abuse and addiction:

Heroin Addiction

In addition to being illegal, heroin is also extremely dangerous and highly addictive.
Synthesized from morphine, heroin is usually sold as a white or brownish powder, or in a sticky format commonly known as “black tar heroin.” The drug is commonly ingested by inhaling/snorting, smoking, or injecting it.

Injection is the most popular method for abusing heroin – though this technique also exposes the user to a number of blood-borne health risks, including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Heroin addiction – which can occur soon after first exposure to the drug – can be a devastating experience, impacting a person’s physical health, emotional well-being, relationships and employment status.

Morphine Addiction

Morphine is a narcotic analgesic – which means that it is a drug that can be used to eliminate pain – that is derived from opium. As its name indicates (“morphine” is an homage to Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams), morphine’s effects can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to remain awake, alert and functional.

In addition to pain relief, the effects of morphine use include depressed appetite, a sense of euphoria, decreased anxiety and impaired mental and physical functioning

Because of its powerful properties, morphine is highly conducive to abuse and addiction. Tolerance to morphine (meaning a person needs increasingly larger doses to receive the same effect) develops quickly. Attempting to end one’s morphine addiction without qualified medical supervision is both highly difficult and very dangerous.

Prescription Opioid Addiction

For decades, the terms “opiate addiction” and “opioid addiction” have almost always referred to a dependency upon heroin or morphine. But in recent years, a significant rise in the abuse of prescription medications has also resulted in addictions to the following drugs:

  • Oxycodone -- The primary active ingredient in OxyContin, a prescription painkiller whose effects are similar to those of heroin, oxycodone is a highly addictive substance that popular on the illicit drug market.
  • Hydrocodone – Most commonly associated with the popular prescription painkiller Vicodin, hydrocodone is another synthetic opioid whose use often leads to abuse and addiction.
  • Codeine – Most commonly prescribed as a cough suppressant and a painkiller, codeine is also medically approved for use in the fight against irritable bowel syndrome and narcolepsy. However, when improperly used it can lead to tolerance, abuse and addiction.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with the abuse of or addiction to heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine or any other type of opiate, know that treatment is available, recovery is possible and a life free from the chains of chemical dependency is within your grasp.

Whether your path to recovery involves methadone maintenance, another form of medication-assisted treatment, therapy or a combination thereof, what is most important is knowing that the path does exist – and that your first steps toward a brighter tomorrow may be as close as a phone call or mouse-click away.

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