The immediate risks and health concerns of an opiate condition can be rough, but the long-term health effects might seem surprising to many users. The effects of opiate abuse can touch upon nearly all areas of your health and leave your body in a weakened state. Below are a few of the ways long-term opiate addiction brings down your health.
Most substance addictions rob the body of necessary vitamins and nutrients, especially when addictions are happening over long periods of time. Expert opiate rehab centers place great efforts on bringing your nutrition to the foreground and increase your overall state of health. The stronger and healthier your body is, the better you can move towards recovery. Opiate can kill a normal appetite, which ultimately leads to malnutrition.
As an opiate addiction progresses, the times of lack in the amount available for consumption can become depleted. It can initiate severe withdrawal symptoms that bring on bouts of nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. The depressant qualities of opiates make it easy to blow off properly eating and drinking. Chronic dehydration can begin causing other health problems, such as bladder, kidney and urinary tract infections.
Possible White Brain Matter Depletion
Long-term opioid use has been shown to destroy a portion of white brain matter. It can begin to destroy memories, processing thoughts, decision-making, and leaves the user in a state of confusion. Cessation of opiates does come with a gradual improvement, but it does indicate there is a level of permanent damage done over time.
Internal Organ Injury and Damage
A combination of negative effects often causes significant internal organ damage and injury. The best solution for this is to cease taking opiates as soon as possible. Getting a complete detox will begin to alleviate the potential problem. Due to fewer nutrients, dehydration, and limited oxygen supplies, every internal organ is at risk of injury from a chronic opioid addiction.
Long-Term Tolerance and Dependence Battles
Every opiate addict has issues with tolerance and dependence, but not everyone with tolerance and dependence issues is a full-blown addict. Tolerance is the level of drug required by the body to reach the desired effects. It increases over time. Dependence is both a psychological and physical need for the drug. An addiction is a situation in which a dependent individual is unable to cut down or switch to another type of non-addictive pain relief. It is unpredictable in knowing who will and will not develop an addiction.
Constant Respiratory Depression
Every dose of opiate acts as a depressant to your respiratory system. Breathing is one of the first things to cease when you have an accidental overdose. An addiction to this type of substance can prove dangerous in times of flu and chest colds. You have a limited ability to clear the lungs of built-up phlegm. You can easily end up with pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.
Immune System Compromise
The use of opiate long-term has the ability to compromise the immune system and leave your body open to any virus or bacteria that is prevalent where you reside. It can make it dangerous to get little cuts and scrapes. Your body cannot always adequately heal due to the lack of a proper immune system response. You will end up feeling constantly fatigued and as if you are right on the edge of having some type of illness.
Gastric Disorders and Distress
A wide range of gastric problems are possible with the extended use of opiates. You can end up with bouts of constipation and diarrhea, constant gastric irritation, and inflammation, or a perforated bowel. The entire gastric system is subject to problems, especially with a compromised immune system. You can end up with symptoms as light as heartburn, or severe as infection from a blocked and torn intestine.
Any type of substance addiction will have a level of long-term health implications, but opiates present some of the most serious. Many of these long-term effects are possible whether you are doing street drugs, or prescription opiates. It is critical to go through detox and get free of an opiate addiction as soon as possible for your overall health and well-being.