As a parent, relative, and friend there are some things that you should know about opiate abuse. Opiates are a class of drugs that were developed from the opium poppy, and they work well at controlling pain but they are often abused and are highly addictive. These substances are a central nervous system depressant, and they can also be made from semi synthetic substances as well as natural components of the opium poppy. Common opiates that can be found on the street or in pharmacies include:
It is illegal to possess or use any opiates without a valid prescription from a physician. Heroin has no valid medical use and is illegal in any form. Physicians do not write out a prescription for heroin and there is no medical use for this form of opiate drug. Even taking an opiate for a short term in order to control severe pain can cause a physical or psychological addiction. Over time the dependence or addiction only gets worse if treatment is not received. Doctor shopping is common for individuals who have developed this type of problem, and the user may visit several doctors within hours or days in an attempt to get these drugs.
Even individuals who have a legitimate prescription for an opiate medication can become dependent or addicted to the drug. If a medication in this category is required for pain relief it should only be taken as directed and used sparingly in order to lower the risks of a problem. There are substance abuse treatment programs that specialize in opiate addiction.