There are many reasons one might begin taking opioids. Whether used to ease personal problems, relieve pain or simply for recreational use, these drugs are extremely addictive.
How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Opioids?
Opioid addiction can happen to anyone, often before they even realize it. While not everyone who uses opioids will get addicted, every user is at risk.
Opioids (also known as opiates) often come in the form of narcotic pain relievers that contain either natural or synthetic opium. They are most often prescribed to patients recovering from surgery or for those in intense pain. The illegal drug heroin is also a common opioid. Both have the same addictive elements. All opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain and giving the user a “high” as they relieve the pain. But with this much potency often comes addiction.
How Opioid Addiction Can Occur
There are many reasons one might begin taking opioids. Whether it starts as recreational use or as a legitimate way to relieve pain, any user can develop an opioid addiction.
Opiates are highly addictive and give the brain a false sense of euphoria. And if opiates are misused or taken for an extended period of time, the body is able to build up a tolerance, needing more and more of the drug in order to get that high or pain relief. This pain-free feeling may also become short lived, which can lead to an urge to consume the drug more and more frequently.
Dependence Vs. Addiction
There’s no way to predict exactly how long it would take a given person to become addicted. But the longer and more you use opiates, the faster dependence, and eventually opioid addiction, will occur. It’s important to understand the difference between the two (and yes, there is a difference) so that you can know when it’s time to get help.
Physical dependency is when the body adapts to the drug and can no longer function normally without it. The person will begin to exhibit withdrawal symptoms if the opioid use is abruptly stopped.
The body can adjust to opioids and its effects if misused or taken for an extended period of time. Physical dependency does not constitute addiction, but it often leads to and accompanies it.
Addiction is defined as compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences. A full-on addiction is when someone has reached the point where they cannot stop or reduce their use of the drug. They may even lose the ability to limit their drug use or dosage. The opioid or prescription drug abuse can start to dominate their entire life.
Behavioral signs of addiction include isolation from friends and family, doing poorly at school or work, getting in trouble with the law and being all-consumed with the drug.
If you or someone you know shows these signs of opioid addiction, the good news is, there’s still hope for a happy, healthy life.
The Process Of Opioid Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a process that takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. But by getting professional help from a drug rehabilitation center, you’ll be better equipped to overcome your opioid addiction.
- The first step at most outpatient and inpatient opiate rehabilitation centers is detoxification, during which the body is rid of any harmful drugs. This stage is crucial and tends to last between five and seven days.
- The next step is the rehabilitation and treatment phase. Individuals can choose whether to partake in inpatientor outpatient treatment from a drug rehabilitation center. Each route has its own benefits. In treatment, participants will receive both individual counseling and group therapy sessions and set up a short- and long-term treatment and recovery plan.
- Following completion of an inpatient drug treatment program, it is recommended that clients enter an outpatient program. This stage is essential for those who need a continuum of care after inpatient rehab. Sobriety is a lifelong struggle for recovering addicts and should be treated as such. That’s why support and a customized aftercare plan are key to staying sober.
Let Daylight Recovery Help
At Daylight Recovery Services, our focus is on the individual. Our drug rehabilitation center offers both outpatient and inpatient drug treatment programs to get to the root of each client’s opioid or heroin addiction.
If you think you may have an opioid addiction, let us help. We’ll use evidence-based treatments to guide you toward long-term recovery and with a customized treatment plan. Contact Daylight Recovery Services today to begin your journey toward sobriety.