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What is a narcotic drug?

The term narcotics is commonly heard on TV crime shows, and people generally associate the term with any drug. In actuality, narcotics are more specific. So what is a narcotic drug?

Narcotics – commonly referred to as opioids or opiates – are a class of pain-relieving drugs that come from opium, which is a drug produced by the poppy plant. Known for its many useful pain-relieving applications in cases of chronic diseases, it is unlikely for one to become dependent or addicted to the drug when it is taken as prescribed.

Widely recommended to treat painful conditions, their pain-killing abilities are what make this class of drugs the most dangerous throughout the nation, at epidemic proportions. When taken over a long period of time or in ways other than prescribed, narcotics abuse can cause one to develop drug tolerance and result in drug dependency and addiction.

Abusing Narcotics

Narcotics help eliminate pain, stress and anxiety. They can also induce feelings of intense euphoria, and a strong sense of well-being in a person. However, when taken in higher quantities than prescribed or when combined with other addictive substances like alcohol or other illegal drugs, narcotics can also prove dangerous.

There are various types of narcotic drugs: Illicit drugs such as heroin and prescription pain medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Narcotic drugs come in various forms, including tablets, syrups, capsules and intravenous injections. While narcotic prescriptions are bought, sold and traded on the black market, right along with heroin and cocaine, some opioid prescription drugs are readily available in the family medicine cabinet, particularly if family members or pets have undergone surgical procedures.

These drugs can be taken responsibly and moderately, as prescribed, but tolerance, or the need to take more of the drug to achieve the same effects, naturally builds – increasing the chances of a person becoming physically dependent on the drug. Often people use narcotics to suppress emotional pain apart from the physical one. The euphoria that accompanies narcotic use makes abuse prevalent. When opioid prescription drugs are taken without a medical need, the effects can be life-threatening, leading to overdose and even death.

Narcotic abuse: Signs and symptoms

Post developing a tolerance, an individual may become dependent on the drug and continue to use it despite knowing its adverse consequences.

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of narcotic abuse.

  • Absence of pain (analgesia)
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Itching or flushed skin
  • Poor judgment
  • Respiratory depression
  • Risk of choking
  • Sedation
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Slurred speech
  • Small pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Red Flags of Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Collapsed veins
  • Coma
  • Compromised immune system
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased pain sensitivity (hyperalgesia)

Narcotic abuse: Withdrawal symptoms

Narcotics work by sticking to specific proteins called opioid receptors – found in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, spinal cord, and other bodily organs. When these drugs attach to the said receptors, they reduce the perception of pain.

Users who take opiate drugs for long stretches of time can affect their body’s ability to reduce pain naturally. Chronic opioid abuse can also contribute to nerve cell degeneration as well as debilitating withdrawal symptoms of narcotics that begin when a person tries to reduce or stop taking the drugs completely.

Although withdrawal from narcotics can be a bit unpleasant, it is not life-threatening and includes symptoms like anxiety, mild confusion, restlessness, nausea, excessive sweating and loss of appetite.

Narcotic addiction treatment

A comprehensive treatment for drug addiction may involve detoxification, psychotherapies and behavioral counseling sessions. While detox helps to flush out toxic substances from the body, psychotherapies help one uncover the underlying reasons behind the drug addiction and help one learn effective coping skills to resist and overcome drug cravings and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Narcotic addiction symptoms may be treated with medically-supervised detoxification treatment followed by therapy or counseling sessions. A medical intervention procedure, narcotic detoxification treatment works by clearing out the body of all the toxins or abused substances thereby helping an individual benefit from the substance addiction treatments offered. Narcotic detox treatment at certified treatment centers help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and control drug cravings. A detox program that succeeds in removing the withdrawal symptoms must be followed by therapy or counseling sessions that helps uncover any underlying causes of addiction and help avoid any relapse.

Sovereign Health believes that to be effective and long-lasting, treatment for narcotics needs to be individualized to each person’s needs. Sovereign Health of Arizona begins recovery with a complete biopsychosocial assessment to determine the level of care and milestone markers for progress. Post a thorough assessment, the treatment team at Sovereign Health creates individualized programs specifically targeted towards a patient’s symptoms and medical history.

Depending on the duration of illness and the severity of symptoms, treatment for narcotic addiction may involve clinically-approved treatment options followed by psychotherapies and evidence-based treatment modalities including neurofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). In addition, a narcotic treatment program with Sovereign Health features experiential therapies such as yoga, meditation, equine, music, art, and exercise. Cognitive therapies, specific process groups and family therapy are also part our treatment regime.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

At Sovereign Health’s rehab centers, our formidable team of health care professionals has a track record of success in treating a litany of prescription drug addictions – including narcotic dependency. We are licensed to treat mental health issues, in all its manifestations: mental disorders and addictions.

Additionally, Sovereign Health of Arizona specializes in trauma-informed care for women who have overcome abuse and have post-traumatic stress disorder. We are a hub of cognitive and alternative therapists, doctors, nurses, clinical concierge professionals and residential attendants mindful of trauma triggers and residual flight or fight responses. Our rehabilitation is full spectrum and our living spaces are accommodating. The comfortable living spaces offered in Chandler, Arizona provide a safe haven where positivity, mutual edification and healing thrive.

A dual licensed network of treatment facilities, treatment teams at Sovereign Health ensure that our patients are medically supervised 24/7 to monitor their symptoms and facilitate a smooth recovery. For more information on our top-notch narcotic addiction treatment programs or to locate the finest narcotic detox centers, near you, please contact our admissions staff at our 24/7 helpline number. You can even chat online with our representative for any further assistance.

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