Prescription medication is widely available in the United States and can be found at all levels of society. One of the biggest issues when understanding the abuse of these opiate-based drugs is knowing how much they are also needed for various remedies in medical treatment. This creates an unusual paradox with prescription medication abuse. These drugs can be highly dangerous, and yet they are legal and easily available.
The Dangers of Withdrawal
Though mood altering substances are in whole dangerous, there is a unique danger that relates to prescribed opiate-based drugs commonly called medications. Opium is the basic compound used in these and this makes them highly addictive. Yet, unlike the addiction of other illegal and mood altering substances, the withdrawal phase involved with opiates creates a challenge that has labeled prescription medication withdrawal as one of the worst kinds.
Some of the standard symptoms that an opiate user will experience are so severe that they instill fear. It is not only painful, but prior to making the decision to quit, it is highly apprehensive. Those symptoms include: muscle twitches, bone pains, nausea, vomiting, dramatic mood swings, diarrhea, tremendous exhaustion, deep cravings for the drug of choice, anxiety, insomnia, and what is widely known as ‘being a cold turkey.’ This is a case where a person in the midst of a withdrawal phase will experience random occurrences and appearances of goosebumps.
Who is Susceptible?
Like most addictions, the abuse of prescription medications is not a sign of the weakness of a person’s willpower. Many do try to quit themselves, but once addicted, the drug alters the body’s physiology directly. Opiate-based substances themselves alter the brain’s function and is repeatedly called a brain disease. The addiction itself is an actual disease, but opiates have a special effect on the brain and its function.
These types of medications enter the brain and trigger what is known as the reward sensors. These sensors are how the human brain decides what is beneficial in life and what is not. They associate good experiences with the need and achievement of survival. By triggering these sensors to produce and release positive chemicals while under its influence, the function of the brain is altered to believe that the consumption of these medications taken are what is good or applicable for survival.
Acknowledging the disposition of someone dependent on legally prescribed medications is very important and will likely require a serious intervention. Remember, it is not a sign of weakness for the user as the brain has been retrained in its survival functions. What this will cause in those addicted to pain medications and the likes is a complete misunderstanding that the substance and its dependency is causing harm.