Opioid addiction- down the rabbit hole
Maybe you’ve heard of drugs called heroin, morphine, or codeine. These are examples of opioids. If someone uses opioids again and again, his or her brain is likely to become dependent on them. These drugs are extremely dangerous and powerful. They cause a sense of temporary euphoria for the user and can create addiction very quickly. They are also in the news a lot right now because of their highly addictive nature and death rate, specifically with teens.
Just some pills…
Often, people start using these drugs by taking a prescription they have, or by taking the prescription of another person they know. While that may seem like a “harmless” high, prescription medications such as these can become addictive in as little as THREE DAYS. These medications include vicodin, percocet, and oxycontin, codeine and morphine.
Did you know that purple drank (or sizzurp) is made from a combination of ingredients which include codeine, an opioid? Drinking it can lead to the same side-effects of opioid use listed below.
Side-effects of opioid use in the short-term include:
- decrease in body functions- heartbeat and respiration slow down
- nausea and vomiting
- hypothermia (lowered body temperature)
- coma or death from overdose
I need more…
Sometimes people become addicted to prescription opioids and find that they can no longer get their hands on them. At this point, people are addicted and willing to make even worse choices to get their high. This leads them to turn to another drug- heroin. Heroin is addictive and dangerous. Trying heroin even ONE TIME can create an addiction or lead to death by overdose.
Just hours after the effects of heroin wear off, a user can have intense cravings to use again.
Repeated use of heroin can have the following long-term side-effects:
- cold sweats
- bad teeth
- weakened immune system
- partial paralysis
- memory loss and loss of brain function
- skin damage- acne on the face, marks and infections from injection
- the potential to contract other diseases through the use of unclean needles
Remember, taking a pill once or a few times can seem harmless. It’s not. It can lead you on a downward spiral that you would never expect. Many addicts say that they aren’t even sure how it got so bad. The best choice you can make is not to start.
If you want more information on drug use, check out the TeenCentral Substance Use page.