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opioid use in America

Opiate AddictionOpiods have been used by people to deal with pain for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Sumerians. Natural Opiates are derived from the poppy plant and come in the form of opium and morphine. While opium is considered a street drug, morphine is considered to be a powerful pain reliever and is widely used in hospital settings. Other opioids such as codeine and methadone, are derived synthetically from raw ingredients are also used to help people deal with pain and discomfort. Other Opioids are semi- synthetic in which the naturally occurring compounds are derived from a chemical process. Heroin is a good example of this.

How they work

Opioid compounds bind to receptors in your neurons. These receptors regulate things like pain, stress, temperature, respiration, mood and even motivation. When these compounds attach to the opiod receptor, it triggers a euphoric response in a person which can help mask pain and trauma. While capable of creating euphoria, opioids can also trigger other symptoms such as drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and breathing problems. You can also overdose on opioids and suffer from vomiting, convulsions, decreased consciousness and respiratory failure that can eventually become fatal. 

The US and Withdrawal

Americans reportedly consume 80% of the world’s opioid supply. Well much of this is prescribed; a good portion is smoked, snorted or taken intravenously in the form of recreational drugs. Even opioids that are prescribed for pain can wind up becoming abused by the patient. Aside from the feeling of euphoria, opioids can become difficult to quit because of the withdrawal symptoms that come with stopping their use.

If used for a long time, a person’s body can become dependent upon opiates resulting in a physical addiction. Sudden abstinence from prolonged use can create a number of symptoms including restlessness, depression, anxiety, aches, pains, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea and severe craving. Without help, these symptoms can be hard to overcome and can lead to relapse.

Overcoming withdrawal symptoms

There are several methods in which to overcome withdrawal symptoms. These include a slow tapering off of the pain killers, or getting prescribed a medication that helps with the withdrawal symptoms without producing the same euphoric effects as an actual opiod. There are also natural remedies out there that can help a person detoxify and overcome the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. One such product is Withdrawal Ease which uses natural detoxifiers along with certain herbs like Valerian and naturally occurring compounds like GABA to help combat withdrawal symptoms.
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