Understanding the Dangers of Narcotic Dependence

When narcotics (pain killers) are used as prescribed by a doctor, they usually do not lead to addiction or abuse. Illicit use of certain narcotics, or misuse of prescribed ones can lead to narcotic dependence. This can pose many dangers to a user, both physically and psychologically. Some users may not fully understand how developing a dependence to these types of drugs can endanger their well-being, and lead to other risky situations.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, narcotics have effects that are helpful in therapeutic settings, but also has potential for abuse. It can create psychological, and physical dependence. Also, overdoses of narcotic are not uncommon and can be fatal.

What are the Dangers of Narcotic Dependence?

Narcotic Dependence

Narcotic dependence can exacerbate underlying mental health issues.

If you or a loved one is using narcotics to either relieve painful ailments, or as a way to getting high, then becoming aware of the dangers that dependence to these types of drugs may cause is important. Not all users may experience the same effects, but continued use of narcotics can create a dependence that can make it hard for an individual to stop using them, even if they wanted to quit. Some of the dangers of dependence to narcotics include:

  • Dependence can cause symptoms of an underlying mental illness to worsen. A person who suffers from mild depression may become severely depressed, and may start to use more drugs just to try and feel better. Using more drugs, whether the same type or others can lead to an overdose that can be fatal.
  • A user who has developed dependence may try to abruptly stop and experience withdrawal symptoms. Many cannot manage the discomfort associated with withdrawal, and end up using even more of the drug to avoid the pain of withdrawal.
  • It can lead to a severe addiction that will require treatment of both the physical and psychological well-being of the user. Some of the effects caused by heavy drug use can cause permanent damage.
  • The user’s personal life can be affected in many ways. They can lose their job, be expelled from school, and relationships can suffer because of their behavior due to dependency of narcotics.
  • Their health is neglected. They can be more prone to infections, and it can also have an impact on their diet. Appetite can be affected negatively due to the continued use of narcotics. This can lead to malnutrition, and lead to other health complications.

Severe dependence, especially when the narcotic has been abused, and taken in ways other than prescribed by a doctor, or illegally –can also cause withdrawal of the drug when a user suddenly stops, or has no more. Some of these withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening to the user if they do not receive immediate medical attention.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

Some of the Symptoms of Withdrawal from Narcotic Drugs

When a user no longer has access to the drug, or chooses to suddenly quit -they may experience withdrawal symptoms. The longer they were using the drug, the stronger symptoms, and the more risk they are putting on their life if they do not seek professional treatment. Some of the symptom you should be aware of can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Tremors
  • Rapid breathing
  • Intense cravings for the drug

With the level of dependency and the type of drug used, some symptoms may not be immediately life threatening, but medical treatment is needed to avoid other serious health complications. Other more serious drugs, such as heroin, can cause withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal if not treated immediately.

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Seeking Treatment for Dependence to Narcotics

If you or a loved one have developed narcotic dependence, and feel you cannot control the use, then treatment may be necessary. To find out more about drug dependency and addiction, contact a substance abuse specialist. They can guide you on set you on the right path to start getting treatment as soon as possible.

the Take-Away

A dependence on narcotics can develop out of repeated use, whether they are being taken as prescribed or not. This causes withdrawal when a person tries to quit, and leads into addiction.