Opiate addiction is a physical and mental dependency. Social environment, stress, mental health, family history, age, gender and ethnic group all influence the risk for the condition. Taking increased amounts of a prescription or taking a prescription longer than is recommended causes a dependency in the brain and the bodies chemistry. This is the case as well when taking any form of an opiate. Over the span of the addiction the body creates a tolerance, and while the body is craving the opiate, it also needs increased quantities of the opiate, to suppress the cravings. This over time creates the snowball effect addiction has and creates the inability to stop using and results in opiate withdrawal syndrome if the person stops. Eventually affecting every aspect of the person’s life and having the potential to damage almost every organ in the body, including the brain. Identifying opiate addiction is difficult for the individual afflicted because of the social stigma associated with the disease that causes people with an opiate addiction to avoid diagnosis and treatment for fear of shame or social consequences. The evaluation responses to a group of standardized questioning is a common method for diagnosing opiate addiction. These can be used to identify harmful patterns, that result in addiction.
~ John Coleman
~ Kathleen OKeefe
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