All opioid drugs can be addictive. However, if you are taking one of these drugs as a doctor-recommended medication, make sure never to stray from your prescription, and you should not experience any issues with addiction. If you have been abusing your or someone else’s opioid prescription, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now to find safe, reliable care.
What Are Opioids and How Do They Cause Addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Opioids are medications that relieve pain.” They are in a specific group of pain relievers, also called narcotics, that are either derived directly from or synthesized from opium.
Heroin is also an opioid, though it is not used to treat pain and is, in fact, an illegal drug. Because all of these drugs are from essentially the same source, they all cause similar effects. As stated by the National Library of Medicine, these drugs are all habit-forming and if misused can cause addiction.
Opioids are habit-forming because they change the way the brain works when they are taken in doses larger than those prescribed by a doctor. Many people abuse opioids in this way because it can cause a euphoric high.
Over time, a person’s brain will become used to this high and will begin to crave it over anything else. At this point, the individual is usually addicted and will engage in dangerous or possibly even illegal behavior in order to obtain more of the drug. When someone will do anything to get their next fix, they will begin experiencing the most dangerous and severe side effects of addiction.
Why Are Opioids Prescribed If They Can Cause Addiction?
Doctors prescribe opioids to patients who need pain relief. These drugs are some of the best substances at providing this kind of relief, whether it is for chronic pain or an acute pain (like the kind after an accident). For this reason, opioids are used to treat pain but are meant to be prescribed as carefully as possible.
Unfortunately, opioid abuse and addiction is extremely widespread, the cause of which is the reckless abuse and prescribing of these drugs. According to the NIDA, “Drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written” in recent years along, the acceptability of opioid use, and the forceful marketing of pharmaceutical companies for these specific drugs have all come together to create a general increase in abuse.
How Do I Avoid Opioid Addiction?
If you are taking opioids as prescribed by your doctor, it is important to take them exactly as they have been prescribed to you. This mean you must not
- Take the drugs more often than prescribed
- Take them in higher doses
- Take them longer than you were prescribed to
- Take them in a way other than prescribed (through a different method of administration)
Even if you have not yet begun to abuse your opioid prescription drug, you may begin to feel the desire to. Cravings for the drug, a feeling that you cannot get through the day, get out of bed, fall asleep, etc. without it, and rationalizing your need to use your medication are all signs that you may be close to abusing your prescription. If you do experience these issues, make sure to talk to your doctor right away.
In addition, you must stay in contact with your doctor. Make sure you talk to them about any other medications you are taking, and ask them any questions you may have in order to ensure that you are as informed about your treatment as necessary. You should never feel afraid to ask for information from your physician.
Avoiding addiction is easy as long as you take your treatment seriously, do not deviate from your prescription, and talk to your doctor before you make any changes. Opioids can also cause dependence, so it is important not to stop taking your medication suddenly. Instead, you may need to be slowly weaned off the drug so as not to experience any withdrawal effects.
Have You Been Abusing Your Opioid Medication?
If you have––or you believe you are in danger of doing so––let us help you find the right treatment option for your needs and recover your life again. Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now to find a rehab center where you can safely put an end to your substance abuse issues.