Logo of The Bridges of San Diego Intensive Outpatient Program for Drug and Alcohol Addictions

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

5480 Baltimore Dr. suite 211

La Mesa, CA 91942

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What you need to know about Prescription Opiates

Opiate addiction has literally taken the country by storm, with over 130 people dying each day from opiate related overdoses.  Opiate based prescription drugs such as Vicodin (hydrocodone), Morphine, Percocet (oxycodone), and Dilaudid are used to treat extreme pain, often in surgical or post operative care, or for chronic, debilitating injuries.  Over the last handful of years, a new synthetic opioid named fentanyl has emerged, with potency levels nearly 50-100 times more potent than morphine, resulting in sharp increases in mortality rates throughout the United States.  Most users take the above noted drugs in pill form - some opiate addicts may even crush the pills into a powder, then melt into a liquid and administer via intravenous injection.  In 2017 alone, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from addiction related to prescription based opioids.  During that same year, opioids were responsible for 47,600 deaths, constituting 67.8% of all drug related overdose deaths in the country.  Opiate drugs essentially mimic the naturally occurring opiates that exist in our brain and are an essential and complicated component to our physical makeup as human beings.  Exposure to opiate based drugs create feelings of euphoria, happiness, relaxation, and an overall reduction in physical pain.  Alternatively, all opiates carry an entire host of negative side effects with prolonged or excessive use such as nausea, dizziness, constipation, sexual dysfunction, respiratory depression and failure, liver failure, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.  True opiate addiction can affect the user for their entire lifetime, as prolonged exposure to prescription based opioids can permanently alter a person's brain chemistry.  For those that have truly formed a dependency to opiate based compounds, proper professional treatment in a rehab setting is an essential step in the recovery process.