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Opioid Addiction Treatment - Drug Rehab Port Elizabeth

An opiate is a narcotic anaesthetic that directly affects and depresses your central nervous system (CNS).

The natural form of an opiate derives from the dried "milk" of the opium poppy, whereas synthetic opiates with a similar chemical structure are created in chemical laboratories.

Even though there are both natural and synthetic forms of opiates, they are collectively known as opioids.

First contact with an opiate is usually because it was prescribed to you as a painkiller due to its analgesic properties.

Most commonly prescribed opioid medications

The most commonly prescribed abused narcotics are drugs such as Morphine, Codeine, Oxycodone (OxyContin), Propoxyphene (Darvon), Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and Meperidine (Demerol).


Morphine is generally used before or after surgery in order to alleviate an individual’s severe pain, Codeine and Diphenoxylate (Lomotil) are used to ease milder pain, relieve coughs and relieve diarrhoea.


OxyContin is prescribed for chronic long-lasting pain. It’s a semi-synthetic opioid anaesthetic, which contains between 10 and 160 milligrams of oxycodone.

It comes in the form of a timed-release tablet, which is designed to provide its user with several hours of relief from chronic pain.

OxyContin abusers tend to crush the tablet and either ingest or snort it, you can also dissolve it in water and inject it.

By crushing or diluting the tablet the abuser deactivates the time-release action of the medication which causes a quick, extremely powerful high.

Individuals become addicted to Opioids due to the affects they have on their opioid receptors, they prevent the transmission of pain messages to the brain and induce a feeling of euphoria by affecting the brain regions that facilitate pleasure.

The high achieved from taking an opiate generally leaves the individual feeling content, warm and sometimes drowsy.

It also relieves stress and discomfort by creating a peaceful detachment from any pain, needs, and required activities.

Opioid Withdrawals

Individuals attempting Opiate recovery and experiencing withdrawal may undergo moments of extreme discomfort.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms include low energy and yawning, feelings of irritability, anxiety and agitation, restlessness and insomnia, hot and cold sweats and goose bumps, muscle ache and pains, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Here are some quick and easy questions to test an Opiate addiction.  

  1. Has your use of opiates increased over time?
  2. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using?
  3. Do you use more than you would like, or more than is prescribed?
  4. Have you experienced negative consequences to your using?
  5. Have you put off doing things because of your drug use?
  6. Do you find yourself thinking obsessively about getting or using your drug?
  7. Have you made unsuccessful attempts at cutting down your drug use?

If you answered yes to at least three of those questions, then you may have an opioid addiction.

Step Away – Opioid Addiction Treatment Centre South Africa

At Step Away our facilitator’s at our rehabilitation center advice our clients to avoid high risk situations and help to teach them important relapse prevention strategies.

An individual should be entirely honest, whilst practicing sharing how they feel.

It is important for individuals and their loved ones to take the recovery process one day at a time.

Recovery from an Opiate addiction begins when you ask for help and by establishing a strong support system.

For more information about our addiction treatment centre, please contact us.


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