Opioid Addiction: Why Are Opioids So Addictive?
The Opioid Epidemic has been devastating on the country, as the death toll from overdoses has steadily increased over the years due to opioid addiction. But what exactly is an opioid addiction, and what is it about opioids that make these drugs as addictive as they are?
Understanding Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction is a disease that affects individuals on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. It is a three-fold disease that requires treatment, just like any other illness would. The stigma that has surrounded opioid addiction for years upon years is that the addiction is the addict’s “choice” and that if they really wanted to stop, they could “just stop” on their own. The reality is that addiction is NOT a choice. An opioid addiction leaves addicts physically and psychologically dependent on the drugs. In order for recovery, an addict must be safely detoxed off the substances and receive treatment for underlying issues, so that they can learn to combat drug triggers and cravings while developing new, healthy coping skills.
Why Are Opioids Addictive?
Opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, hydropmorphone, oxymorphone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, opium, and morphine, are extremely addictive because of the way they make the brain react. When opioids are taken, the brain’s reward system is impacted as chemicals in the brain like dopamine are increasingly produced. This increase of dopamine can make the user experience intense feelings of pleasure and the brain begins to crave the same effect, which leads users to continual use, drug addiction, and even relapse. If opioids are taken continuously, there is a great likelihood of physical dependency on the drugs as well. This means that when the addict no longer has the substance in their system, they begin to go through withdrawal. Eventually, many opioid addicts keep using just so that they don’t feel sick, which only perpetuates the addiction. The best way to recover from an opioid addiction is to receive critical treatment at a safe medical detox and inpatient drug rehab.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Recovering from an opioid addiction can begin with a medical detox since opioid addicts are physically dependent on the drug. It is critical to be weaned off the drug safely by medical doctors at a medical detoxification facility. However, a medical detox alone will not treat an opioid addiction. A medical detox allows for opioid addicts to be taken off the substances safely, but it does not address the core issues that the individual masks with the use of opioids. An inpatient drug rehab center would be the next viable phase of treatment because addiction professionals, counselors, and qualified staff can address those underlying problems and help the patient develop tools for dealing with problems in a more effective, healthy way. At The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs of the Palm Beaches, opioid addicts are offered a full continuum of care beginning with a medical detox and drug rehab for the treatment of opioid addiction. The Watershed understands that addiction is a threefold disease that requires treatment in all areas that are impacted. This is why The Watershed provides effective aftercare to continue treating the disease of addiction, which includes the Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and sober living environments.
An addiction to opioids doesn’t need to be a death sentence. Recovery is possible.
If you are struggling with an opioid addiction, you are not alone. Call The Watershed today for help at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: drug addiction, opioid addiction, opioid addiction treatment, opioids