Everyone who takes opiate drugs puts themselves at risk of addiction every time they use. Whether a person takes legally prescribed pain medications or injects illicit heroin scored from a stranger in an alley, the danger is identical. Opiates cause almost unbreakable habits, and there are no two ways about it.
How opiate drug addiction starts
Many people have their first experience with opiate drugs after a visit to the dentist. Vicodin and Percodan are commonly prescribed after a root canal or other painful dental procedure. When taken as directed for a very short time, these and other poppy-derived pain pills can be quite useful.
Some people use opiate pain pills for the first time when their doctor prescribed a strong painkiller such as OxyContin or morphine after suffering an injurious accident. Other people accept ‘just a few’ pain pills from a well meaning friend or family member. This sort of ‘prescription diversion’ is a major way that drug addiction starts.
Addiction is a medical and mental condition. It starts when something that was initially pleasurable becomes a thing that one cannot live without, explains Mayo Clinic. Medical and mental health professionals define addiction as an overwhelming desire for something and compulsive use of the same despite negative consequences.
Opiate drugs are especially addictive, because they trigger natural reward centers in your brain. When a person takes an opioid medicine, their brain releases a big serving of hormones and neurotransmitters that make them feel good. So good, in fact, they probably wish to repeat the experience as soon as the drug wears off. Repeated use is a step along the precarious path to drug addiction.
When someone takes opiate medications again and again, their body stops making its own supply of endorphins and other natural feel-good chemicals. The phenomenon is known as tolerance. As addiction progresses, the user finds themselves needing more and more to feel the same pleasant effects they felt the first time. Eventually, that first-time effect is not attainable at all, and the addict needs to take opiates just to feel not sick.
Drug-seeking behavior is common among persons whose doctor will no longer refill a prescription for painkillers. Most experts now agree that a three-day course of super strong opiates is enough and that another course of treatment ought to be considered in lieu of continuing to prescribe OxyContin. Or another highly addictive opiate based pain management medicine.
One thing that all drug abusers have in common is that they can and do get well at America’s Rehab Campuses. Drug addiction is cunning and powerful and nearly impossible to overcome without a lot of help. Fortunately, that help is only a phone call away. Get in touch with ARC today and tell us what’s going on with you. We aren’t here to judge you or anyone. ARC exists because we truly want to help you feel good enough about yourself to live well without the dangerous crutch of drug addiction.