Once an individual develops an opiate tolerance, they are well on their way to opiate addiction. But, how does an opiate tolerance develop? Over prolonged use of opiates (or any drugs), the individual’s body becomes more tolerant of the drugs which are being ingested. This means that it takes more of the drug to render the same effects on the person. Where one dose gave the person pain relief at first, after long-term use the dose no longer gives the same effect. It takes more and more of the drug to give the sensations that were felt at first. Long-term use also leads to physical dependence which is a precursor to addiction.
How to Recognize Opiate Tolerance
Tolerance is not only developed in those who use drugs recreationally, such as heroin, morphine, or other opiates only to achieve a “high” and feel euphoria. Tolerance is also experienced by individuals who have an actual legitimate use for the pain reliever, someone who has acute pain from an accident or chronic pain from old injuries or diseases. Even though you have a prescription written by your physician, you can still very easily become addicted to your pain medication.
If your standard dose of drugs does not give you pain relief, you are developing a tolerance. If you take more of the drug than prescribed and still, don’t have the same effects you have developed a tolerance to opiates. This can be extremely dangerous if you continue to take more and more of the drug. You run the risk of becoming addicted as well as risking an overdose. If your body is accustomed to having a certain amount of the drug in your system and you do not have it, you will start uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal Symptoms When Stopping Opiates
The withdrawal symptoms from opiate detox are not life-threatening on their own, but can be very painful and uncomfortable. Some of these withdrawal symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Teary eyes
- Muscle and bone ache and pains
- Hot and cold sweats
- Abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea
- Low energy
- Anxiety and agitation
These withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe, and this is when many individuals go back to using the opiates. They do not want to go through these feelings. Therefore, it is much easier to find more drugs than to spend this time in withdrawal feeling uncomfortable. However, this is not the answer. You need to go to an inpatient treatment facility where you can detox in a safe environment with compassionate and caring staff members to help you through the process.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
In an inpatient facility, you will proceed through the detoxification without the option to turn back to your drug of choice. In these facilities, you are not allowed to have availability to drugs or any kind. When the detox symptoms get really bad, there is a trained professional on hand to take care of any issues which may arise. They can see you through the detox process in a safe manner.
Once the detoxification is complete, you will go through a treatment program which has been designed for your individual needs and preferences. This program will attack the problem of your drug addiction and give you the skills and tools needed to remain sober once you leave the facility and return to your normal life, a much healthier and happier person.
Don’t live with opiate tolerance, needing more and more of the drug. This will only lead to disaster.