So many people don’t realize the consequences of their actions until it’s too late. Unfortunately, long-term use intake side effects of powerful opiate painkillers can lead to serious, and sometimes irreversible, damage.
Prescription painkillers of the opiate variety are derived from opium and produce a sedative effect. Opiates are the most commonly abused drugs and have the potential to be habit forming. Opiate abuse is a very serious and often life threatening problem that can cause lasting damage to the body. Generally, those who abuse these drugs are unaware of the short and long term side effects that result from consistent use.
Specific Threats Of Long-Term Opiate Intake Side Effects
Opiates cause several physical side effects that appear quickly after the first dose but may dissipate as the body adjusts to the medication. Upon initial ingestion, people will often have opiate side effects of dry mouth, flushed skin, heavy extremities and itching. In cases of abuse, people will often feel a surge of euphoria and alternate between drowsy and wakeful states, known as “nodding off”.
Overtime, with regular use, people will build up a tolerance to the drugs and have to increase their dosage in order to achieve the same effects. When people reach this stage, their bodies may adapt to the drugs in their system so much that they need them to function normally. One of the most common side effects of long-term use is opiate addiction. This can cause people to ignore overall health. This form of neglect can be evident in weight loss and poor hygiene, which weakens the body’s defenses and leaves it susceptible to illness and infection.
Damage Can Affect Skin, Teeth And Organs
The lack of personal hygiene may cause people to develop several skin problems such as acne and rashes. Oral health also suffers due to neglect and lack of proper nutrition. Drug abusers often deal with cavities and tooth loss due to decay. People who are injecting opiates are frequently left with needle (track) marks and possible collapsed veins and sores – breeding grounds for infection. Vascular inflammation may also occur, blocking off the blood supply to the rest of the body.
Other serious and possibly irreversible medical complications can occur because of the overall damage to the immune system. People may suffer from heart and valve infections, increasing the risk for heart disease and cardiac arrest. Respiratory depression is also a common problem because opiates are a nervous system depressant. The weakening of the lung function can exacerbate pulmonary and respiratory issues such as pneumonia and bronchitis. With the immune system compromised, it’s also possible for users to contract Hepatitis C. Long-term abuse can also damage the liver and kidneys. Opiate treatment options that include medical detox can help to screen for damage so health issues can be identified and treated.