Pathway Healthcare Blog

How Does One Become Addicted to Opioids?

opioid abuse

How does opioid addiction begin?

Becoming addicted to opioids is not something that users typically set out to do the first time they attempt to abuse a substance. As possibly the most addictive substance available over the counter in a prescription drug form, or on the streets as the illegal drug, heroin, opioid addiction can come out of nowhere for the most unexpecting of users.

Who Uses Opioids The Most?

As a common prescription drug for users that are in intense and severe pain, recovering from major surgeries or in a chronic level of pain, opioid addictions can creep into the all-American household without warning or notice of just how addictive and deadly the drug may be. In North America this year, the numbers are rising for patients with non-life threatening or cancer conditions that will be prescribed opioids. Women, forty years and older, are the most common users of abusing prescription opioids. Long-term use of opioid pain relievers for chronic pain is associated with the addiction of said pain-killers, leading to a misunderstanding and confusion of what exactly an opioid addiction is.

An opioid addiction; a group of signs or symptoms and behaviors that indicate a person is both physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. Typically the person will continue to use opioids despite the fact that drug use is causing significant physical, personal or social problems.

In dealing with opioid addiction, a user recognizes that there is a substance abuse issue that is hindering their quality of life. Opioids are classified as a powerful drug that is primarily prescribed to treat severe pain. They carry a high risk of addiction because of their powerful effects. There are various forms of addiction and withdrawal from opioid dependency. The factors that influence the degree to which a person is considered in a substance dependency are evaluated by the cravings and increased tolerance a person has to an opioid. In order to feel the drugs faster and more intently, a user may begin to smoke, snort, crush or inject the substance.

Becoming Addicted To Opioids:

  • needing to take more of the drug to get the same effect
  • accessing two or more physicians for prescriptions
  • buying opioids on the street
  • feeling withdrawal symptoms when the use of opioids suddenly stops
  • experiencing cravings to use
  • making the use of drugs a priority over family, work and other important obligations

Pathway Healthcare gathers findings of the causes and risk factors for opioid addiction through a combination of physical and psychological factors. The compulsive and illicit use of prescription drugs or opioids can be learned from and alleviated through therapies, medication and group counseling. Treatment options are available through Pathway Healthcare to support and assist patients and their families through the withdrawal period of opioid addiction. Pathway Healthcare provides the tools to return to your life after becoming addicted to opioids.