Why Are Opioids So Addictive?
Opioids are so addictive because they initiate the aggressive production of endorphins in the brain, which masks any pain and gives the user a deep sense of euphoria. But after only a few instances of use, the opioid user will see the following:
- Tolerance will build quickly – With repeated use, the brain is literally being trained to lower its baseline production of endorphins like dopamine, which we need to remain alert and functional. This means the brain and body become increasingly dependent on opioids to get dopamine since the body is no longer producing enough.
- Weaker breathing and heart rate – Opioids not only trigger endorphin production but also suppress the entire central nervous system, which drops respiration to dangerous levels as tolerance builds. Add another depressant like alcohol, and the opioid user risks cardiac arrest or coma.
- Weakened cognition – Thought processes that seemed easy before will slow down and become sluggish. It will become harder and harder to focus on complex tasks.
What Are Some Common Opioids?
There are many types of opioids, but here are some of the most commonly abused:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) – A highly potent and fast-acting opioid used to manage moderate to severe pain.
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin) – A less potent and slower-acting opioid used to manage moderate pain.
- Codeine – Often used in cough syrup, this opioid is one of the weakest available and is used to manage mild pain.
- Heroin – An illegal opioid that is much stronger than prescription opioids.
- Fentanyl – A very potent and fast-acting opioid used to manage severe pain.
As previously stated, many of these serve a legitimate medical function, but they are intended for short-term remedies and are all highly addictive. Continued use for pain management is one of the leading causes of opioid addiction and dependency. Many people who develop opioid dependence have no idea how addictive the drugs they are taking can be or how quickly this can happen. The stereotypical heroin junkie is not a realistic picture of these victims, and it’s important to know that opioid addiction is a genuine risk to millions of people.
Opioid Addiction Treatment at Clear Steps Recovery
It can be very hard to identify sure signs of opioid addiction in ourselves or people we know well, as each person’s differences make everything seem unique. That’s why it’s good to ask questions and get help. Clear Steps Recovery is ready to do that, and once you become a client, everything is tailored specifically for you.
Some highlights of our opioid abuse recovery program in New Hampshire include proven and effective therapies such as health realization and family support.
- Health realization teaches you to look at experiences as something internal, not external, and shows you the inner strength and resilience present in every human to change their reality.
- Family support is an essential component of addiction and recovery. Through therapy sessions, you and your family members gain education on the nature of addiction and learn to communicate and heal relationships. Most importantly, family members learn how to support a loved one struggling with addiction.
Additionally, our staff can work with individuals undergoing medication-assisted therapy or arrange for additional medically necessary services.
These programs are administered by our professional staff, who have the knowledge and the empathy to make recovery permanent. We know that your support network will be critical to that success. Our clients are professionally guided to create new and positive connections with peers in the program and rebuild relationships with family and friends.