When used as prescribed, opiates can offer an array of benefits to those coping with extreme pain. It is when these substances are misused over a long period of time that the risk of serious repercussions becomes heightened.
Opiates are defined as painkillers, which release naturally-produced endorphin's from the brain. Once the endorphin's have flooded the body, a euphoric and calming effect takes over. Common opiates include substances ranging from heroin and morphine to prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, codeine and Vicodin.
The more frequent an individual uses liver-opiates, the higher the tolerance required to achieve the initial effect. Over time, addicts lose the ability to create natural endorphin's; becoming dependent on the substance to concoct these bodily chemicals.
The prolonged use of opiates often results in conditions ranging from liver disease and heart infection to pulmonary issues such as pneumonia. Additional effects include constipation, diminished sex drive, and infertility. In IV users, collapsed veins is yet another potential condition.
Long-term opiate users will often fail to maintain basic hygiene standards, ultimately increasing the risk of disease, while alienating those they care for.
Death & Crime
In some cases, prolonged opiate use leads addicts down a road of crime in an effort to support their habit. Death, too, may occur due to opiate overdose or complications associated with the health issues outline above.
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