The National Institute for Drug Abuse has compiled statistics that paint a troubling picture of opiate use in St. Louis, Missouri; namely, that the number of patients who underwent treatment for opiates has been steadily increasing throughout the years. Heroin alone caused about 117 cases of death during the first half of 2013, with a staggering number of 2,274 users admitted to drug rehab in Missouri.
Heroin is more prevalent than any other drug in the opiate family because it’s less expensive and remains consistently available and easily accessible to drug addicts. Other opiate, non-heroin drugs have a relatively low number of treatment admissions, reaching about 254 patients in 2013. What’s disturbing about this data, though, is that about 24% of opiate users in St. Louis are under the age of 24, meaning that opiates are most popular among adolescents and young adults who acquire it for recreational use.
Opiates are highly addictive drugs that bring a sense of euphoria to the user. While they can be used for pain relief, excessive amounts of opiate can build a person’s tolerance to the drug, meaning an addict will crave larger doses of opiate in order to experience the same high they had before. Opiates are among the most lethal drugs to take in; an overdose can cause life-threatening situations such as cardiac and respiratory arrest that could lead to unexpected and instantaneous death.
The process of withdrawal is extremely difficult, but everyone who wants to be clean has to go through it. An article in the website, The Opiate Epidemic, shares how opiate addicts can make withdrawal symptoms become more tolerable: “If you are planning to cease your opiate use and anticipate withdrawals, the best advice is to not try and go through it alone. Whether you check yourself into a rehab facility for your detox, or have a friend or family member by your side, things are much easier when you aren’t experiencing the withdrawal with no one to depend on but yourself.”
If you are suffering from opiate or any other drug addiction, rehabilitation centers such as the Midwest Institute for Addiction offer treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy in St. Louis, Missouri. Trust in them to help you turn things around.
(Source: Opiate Withdrawal Timeline, The Opiate Epidemic, December 19, 2014)