Opiate Detox: What Do Opiates Do To People?
By Dr Mark Agresti
Treating opiate addiction (Oxycodone, Roxycodone dependency) since 1988 has taught me a few things. Opiate dependency is all consuming. Individuals become consumed with getting money for opiates, obtaining opiates and having time to use opiates. All this mental energy is pulled from other activities. Resources are taken from loved ones, leisure activities and business. Individuals using opiates spend discretionary income on opiates (i.e. oxycontin), instead of going out to dinners, dating and playing. Once on opiates the range of activities that individual engages in decrease. Hobbies and sports fall to the side. These individuals lack time and money to do fun things, but also lack desire to have fun. There is no desire to have sex and desire to socialize decrease. These individuals can maintain jobs and relations with a few close others.
They usually become depressed, crave sugar, and gain weight. Their complexion changes to a grayscale cancer looking color. They develop strange eating habits and sleeping habits. Their sense of self worth and self-esteem decline. They have feeling of emptiness and detachment from others. One patient said she looked in the mirror and she saw a skeleton. She no longer existed. The opiate becomes everything.
The opiate becomes an individual’s lover and family. The fear of going into withdrawal is so powerful. When the possibility that the individual may be cut off from drugs, the beast comes out.
The opiate addict will do what ever it takes to get opiates. Individuals come up with carrying solutions. Stealing, lying prostitution, and selling everything come to mind. The individual wakes up every day with one problem, how will I get opiates today?
Initially people started on opiates to get high. That high gets less overtime, dependency develops. The individual spends most of their time not high but getting enough drugs so they won’t go into withdrawal.