01 Sep Overcoming Opioid and Opiate Addiction in Vancouver Canada
Vancouver is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Canada, with a growing population of over 2.6 million. The growth in population unfortunately has also led to a growth in addiction and overdose-related deaths. In 2016, following a significant increase in opioid-related overdose deaths from drug poisoning, a public health emergency was declared in British Columbia. Since then, more than 21,000 people have lost their lives to overdoses across the province. Almost 2,000 deaths have occurred in Vancouver alone, making it the epicentre of the overdose crisis.
Following the start of Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020, more than half of overdose deaths have occurred from people using alone in private. To prevent more drug poisonings and overdose deaths in Vancouver, we will educate you on the different types of drugs, their effects, and what makes overcoming addiction so difficult.
What is the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?
These terms are often used interchangeably because they are both considered narcotics, but there are fundamental differences between them. However, both opiates and opioids carry an equal potential for abuse and addiction. If you are prescribed any medications containing these substances, please discuss the risks with your doctor prior to starting. While they are affecting in treating or managing pain, they lead to millions of substance use disorders and impact family members and loved ones.
Opioids: Opioids are synthetic drugs that were created in a lab. They were created to activate the opioid receptors in the brain and mimic the effect of opiates. Some Opioids are fully Synthetic, while others are only partially Synthetic and still contain natural Opium. Common Opioids include heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and methadone.
Opiates: Opiates are drugs that are derived from the naturally occurring poppy plant and its seeds. Common opiates include morphine, codeine, and opium.
Effects of Opioids and Opiates
Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells and block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. Endorphins are released and promote feelings of calmness, a sensation which can be highly addictive. Because they depress the central nervous system, they will make you feel relaxed but will also affect your coordination, judgement and heart rate. While this can effectively be used to relieve pain, opioids carry risks and can be highly addictive, especially when used over time.
More serious side effects include:
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Addiction can also be an outcome of use. Addiction occurs when misuse of these drugs becomes a physical dependence—there becomes a need to keep using the medication in order to feel normal. Physical dependence such as profuse sweating and anxiety can lead to cravings which may become out-of-control, drug-seeking behaviour. Addiction can lead to overdose incidents and, in some cases, death.
Common symptoms of an overdose include:
- Constricted pupils
- Very shallow, restricted breathing
- Cool, clammy skin
- Extreme sleepiness/inability to wake up
For many people, it may take surviving an overdose to be the moment that encouraged them to seek treatment. However, some people may still be hesitant to enter rehab shortly after experiencing an overdose. The best way a person can fully overcome their addiction to opioids and opiates is by calling a drug and alcohol interventionist or by seeking treatment at a drug and alcohol treatment center in Vancouver, Canada.
How to Overcome Addiction in Vancouver Canada
Preventing overdose death and finding treatment options are the first steps to recovery. Opioid and opiate addiction treatment can vary depending on the patient’s needs, occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for varying lengths of time.
Research suggests the most effective form of treatment for these addictions is inpatient detox followed by inpatient rehab. Detox is used because many patients with an addiction to Opiates will experience withdrawal symptoms in the first few days of rehab. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and dangerous to endure without the help of medical detox professionals. Inpatient rehab centers have specialized programs for individuals suffering from this type of substance use disorder. These programs help patients allow themselves to uncover the root cause of their drug use. Knowing what caused patients to use drugs or alcohol in the first place will help prevent future triggers while in recovery.
Unfortunately, there’s no miracle pill among drug addiction treatment methods that offer a guaranteed cure for someone. Drug addiction and recovery will require mental, physical, and emotional transformation, which can only be accomplished through consistent, sustainable efforts to stay sober. For the best chance at having an effective chance of overcoming addiction and staying sober, consider hiring a professional. A trained individual or team, such as ours, can help you and your family before, during, and after your addiction in Vancouver.
How To Get Help In Vancouver
Our team’s mission is to provide help for you and your family and loved ones that may have an issue with opiates or opioids. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and there are signs and symptoms of opioid or opiate dependence, consider reaching out to Andy Bhatti. Andy Bhatti Intervention & Addiction Services has been arranging and leading interventions for opiate addiction in Vancouver, British Columbia for over a decade. Our Vancouver intervention company has a 98% success rate in helping your loved one get into a drug or alcohol treatment center.
If you are ready to take a step forward alongside someone you care about, please reach out today for a consultation. Call our emergency 24-hour intervention phone line at 1-888-960-3209 or call Andy Bhatti directly at 1-604-309-1573.