Opiate abuse and addiction currently impact the lives of millions of people around the world. The list of opiates commonly abused is long, and the following is a look at four of the most abused (and indeed, most dangerous) opiates found in the United States.
Opiate Addiction to Vicodin
Used by doctors to help individuals cope with high levels of pain, Vicodin is prescribed to those who are recovering from injury or surgery – or suffer from chronic pain. Many of these individuals will continue to use Vicodin even after their pain has dissipated – as they develop an addiction to the opiate effects of the drug. Currently, Vicodin is the most abused prescription drug in America.
OxyContin Abuse and Addiction
Sometimes called the “Hillbilly Heroin”, OxyContin has proven to be a problem for addiction treatment professionals and emergency room workers alike. OxyContin is a prescription painkiller like Vicodin, but the drug is a time-release medication –designed to distribute its active ingredients over time. The problems arose when individuals began snorting or injecting the addictive drug, thus receiving ALL of the opiates at once – thus putting themselves at risk for overdose and illness.
Heroin: The Most Dangerous Opiate
One of the most dangerous drugs in the world, heroin claims countless lives each year. Smoking heroin, snorting heroin or shooting the drugs are the three most commonly used methods of ingesting the opiate. The last of these three is by far the most dangerous, as individuals who share dirty needles with other users after injecting heroin are at a high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis.
Opium Addiction and Abuse
Opium declined significantly over the course of the 20th century, but there are still a significant number of people living with an addiction to this powerful opiate. Opium has the appearance of black or brown tar and is most commonly smoked by the individual. Made from the white liquid found in poppy plants, opium is one of the most expensive opiates in the world and is attractive to many addicts drawn to the powerful nature of the drug.
Helping those with an Opiate Addiction
Finding drug rehab help for an individual living with an opiate addiction is one of the most important things a person can do for their friend or loved one. Through detox, counseling and aftercare, opiate drug rehab helps the individual stop using drugs and gives them the tools they need to stay clean for the rest of their lives. Since few opiate addicts can quit using, or even admit that they have a problem, on their own, getting that person in addiction treatment is absolutely essential.