What opiate addiction does to your body
Opiate addiction is a serious problem especially in the U.S where many states are grappling with the issue. Several people have lost their lives as a result of an opiate overdose, and many parents are concerned as a lot of young people engage in the vice. Opiates are made from opium and have morphine-like effects. They are used to relieve pain and also induce sleep. Because of these effects, they are likely to be abused by many people. Opiate drugs are only issued on prescription by a licensed medical practitioner, but people have found ways to beat the system and obtain them even without a doctor’s instruction. Illegal opiates have also become common and can be found on the black market. These highly abused drugs have several adverse effects on the body.
The brain is an important part of the body that coordinates most of the functions of the human system. Opiate addiction can cause daytime sleepiness. It can also result in bouts of drowsiness and make an individual regularly slip in and out of consciousness. People who abuse these drugs can also have mental conditions such as severe cases of depression. Over-dependence on opiates makes the brain inactive, and a person may require the administration of a stimulant to get it functioning at an optimal level.
The Digestive System
The muscles found in the digestive tract help in the digestion of food. Opiate abuse makes them weak and unable to properly break down the ingested food. This results in constipation as the digestive transit is slowed. A digestive system that is not functioning normally may also result in other health complications such as obstruction of the small bowel and perforation. Opiate addicts also suffer from frequent cases of nausea and uncontrolled vomiting. Ingested food is only useful when it can be digested in the alimentary canal and absorbed into the body system. An opiate addict with a compromised digested system will generally be weak and vulnerable to attack from various diseases.
The Immune System
The abuse of opiates leads to the suppression of the immune system since opioid receptors take part in the regulation of body immunity. With a weakened immune system, the addict is exposed to attack by opportunistic diseases and infections. This may lead to failing overall health of a person. Opiate addicts may need regular hospitalisation and medication as they fall ill quite often. It brings into focus another critical issue. With impaired judgment as a result of being heavily medicated, addicts may engage in risky behaviour that may compromise their health. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high among heroin addicts because of the sharing of needles and risky sexual behaviour.
The Respiratory System
The respiratory system aids in the supply of oxygen to the rest of the body. Opiate addiction may result in respiratory depression which can cause slowed breathing and ultimately death. Lack of sufficient supply of oxygen to the heart will cause it and the rest of the body system to malfunction by depriving the body tissues and the brain of oxygen. Even if respiratory depression does not result in death, it can cause permanent damage to the system of a body organ.
The liver rids the body system of many toxins that can impair body functions or cause damage to body organs. Opiate addiction can cause liver damage due to the high amount of toxins concentrated in the organ. Most opiates are mixed with acetaminophen and their excessive use results in acetaminophen toxicity and subsequently cause liver damage. Many of those who use opiates also combine them with alcohol and thus place a lot of stress on the liver. It means that the liver has to work extra hard to get rid of the excess amount of toxins in the body system. A lot of addicts do not realize the amount of damage that their addiction does to the liver until it is too late.
The Nervous System
Even though opiates are meant to relieve pain, a continued dependence on them can lead to increased sensitivity to pain. This condition is known as hyperalgesia. Its addiction can also affect the nervous system through psychomotor impairment. The condition results in loss of coordination and the slowing down of an individual’s physical movements. A person addicted to opiates may thus be ineffective in carrying out chores. Such people may also appear awkward when walking or performing different actions. Many of those who suffer from this addiction are deemed lazy because of what the drug does to the nervous system. On many occasions, they cannot hold objects steadily because of shaking hands and the lack of coordination of body movements.
Other Effects Opiate Addiction on the Body
There are several other negative impacts of opiate addiction on the body. Chronic heroin or the injection of crushed pills can lead to the collapse of veins and septic pulmonary embolism. It can also cause tuberculosis infection as well as lung disease. Continued use of heroin can result in the infection of the linings of the heart due to the high amount of contaminants introduced into the organ. These contaminants can also clog blood vessels throughout the body system and cause organ damage.
Several people who become addicted to opiates start off as genuine patients who require the prescription drugs to relieve pain. However, because of the effects of the opiates, many people tend to become over-dependent on them to the extent that they experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t use them. As discussed, opiates have many negative effects on the human body and should thus be used sparingly and only when needed. The problem of opiate addiction is a complicated one that is currently affecting several states in the U.S. The fact that illegal drugs have found their way to people does not make the fight to reduce opiate addiction an easy one. Apart from these effects on the human body, there is also the immediate threat of drug overdose that has caused the death of so many people especially the youth. Drug addiction is a disease and should be treated as such to find corrective measures for those who are suffering from the condition.
Dont take drugs and if you do understand what drugs you are taking, what they are used for outside of being a way to get high and research the effects they have on user’s.