Opiate Overdoses in Boston on the Rise

Opiate overdoses in Boston have increased dramatically in the past year, with more than 300 people dying from them in the first three months of this year. The nephew of University of Massachusetts president Martin Meehan died of an opioid overdose in August. He was 30 years old. Last year, more than 1,200 people in Massachusetts died from opioid overdoses like painkillers and heroin, which was an 88 percent increase from 2012.

Opioid addiction knows no class lines. It can happen to anyone. Fortunately, a stay at one of the many addiction rehab centers Boston offers can help you overcome opiate abuse and addiction.

What Are Opiates?

An opiate is a highly addictive drug made from a sticky substance in the bud of the poppy plant. This substance is converted to a morphine base, which can be smoked. This morphine base is then chemically altered and turned into heroin, which may be a white, black tar-like, or brown substance. Additionally, many pain medications are opiate-based such as Percocet and OxyContin, as well as pharmaceutical grade morphine. The availability of these drugs is what makes opiate addiction very common.

How Does an Opiate Dependence Form?

Physical opiate dependence forms over a period of time with repeated use, while psychological dependence forms in as little as 48 hours. When a person uses street drugs or pharmaceuticals that are opiate based, the brain releases a rush of dopamine, which is a chemical associated with pleasure. Another area of the brain records the link between the drug and the pleasurable feeling, triggering cravings and addiction.

Although addiction is not fully understood currently, studies show that some people are more inclined to develop substance abuse issues than others. For instance, people who have a parent who is an addict are much more likely to develop an addiction themselves. Additionally, people who are abused sexually or physically, struggle with mental illness, or have behavioral issues are at a higher risk for addiction.

Entering one of the many qualified addiction treatment centers Boston and New England offer can help you conquer opiate addiction before a fatal overdose occurs. Region of Narcotics Anonymous (http://www.nerna.org/) can also provide help to conquer addiction and drug abuse. Get on the path to recovery today. Call (617) 517-6448 today for help finding treatment options that will give you the support you need to overcome opiate addiction.

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