Opiates It Starts With Pain, It Ends In Addiction Perhaps your story starts like so many others: Your doctor prescribes a pain pill, an opiate such as Percocet or OxyContin , to treat your acute chronic pain. You start to feel better so you take more than prescribed because more is better, right? The next thing you know, the pills begin to lose their effectiveness. So you take them more often. If this sounds familiar, you may be struggling with an opiate addiction, or perhaps someone close to you is struggling. It’s not unusual. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 9% of the population is believed to have an opiate dependence, including illegal drugs like heroin and prescription pain medications such as Percocet, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and OxyContin. Opiates vs. Opioids Opiates are alkaloids derived from the opium poppy. Opioids are synthetic (or partly-synthetic) drugs manufactured to work in a similar way to opiates. Both alter the way pain is perceived by attaching onto molecules that protrude from nerve cells in the brain called opioid receptors. Both opiates and opioids are highly addictive drugs that, if misused, can lead to dependence. The best solution for recovery is to seek immediate treatment for opiate abuse. Opiate Abuse: Chasing The Dragon Derived from the opium poppy plant, opiates have been used for centuries. They are still considered the most potent and reliable analgesic agents for treating acute severe pain. In fact, prescriptive opiate care has recently increased because adequate pain relief is now considered a major part of standard healthcare. In some states, it is even required by law. In addition to treating chronic pain, opiates also give users a high. Opiates reduce anxiety, produce mild sedation, and give you a palpable sense of relaxation, self-confidence, contentment and extreme euphoria. The opiate high has been likened to being wrapped up in a warm blanket of relaxation, without a care in the world. Opiate addiction can happen easily. As you try to replicate that first euphoric high (called chasing the dragon ), your body builds up a tolerance to the substance. So, you take more. You soon find that it no longer gives you the same buzz in fact, it makes you feel the opposite. But you are now chemically dependent on the drug, and your continued abuse can risk respiratory failure, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, coma and even death. Opiate treatment is the best solution for your recovery. It’s time to seek help.