Addiction Treatment: Are All Opioids Addictive?

It probably comes as no surprise to know that opioid addiction is at an all-time high. If you watch the news, you may hear stories or statistics regarding opioid addiction. Or, you may know someone who has become addicted to pain pills or a harsher opioid, such as heroin.

You may even be struggling with opioid addiction yourself. If so, know that you’re not alone and there are professional substance abuse professionals and programs that can help you get free.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids (or opiates) are a group of drugs that are derived from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. They are usually prescribed and used for relieving pain. There are legal and illegal types of opioid drugs and all of them can be addictive.

Heroin is the most common illegal opioid out there. Some of the most common legally prescribed types of opiates include:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Suboxone
  • Methadone
  • Vicodin
  • Demerol
  • Lorcet
  • Oxycontin
  • Naloxone

How Opioids Help Reduce Pain And Tie Into Drug Addiction

Opioids help in reducing pain, as they bind to the natural opioid receptors found in the brain. They act as specific chemicals that are similar to sensations of pain relief. If used as directed by a physician, opioids are quite good at reducing pain. Keep in mind that these drugs are intended to be used for short periods to relieve pain, as they can be quite addictive.

Opioid Addiction

When one takes an opioid, whether it’s legal or illegal, they experience a sense of peace and euphoria. Since the feelings are pleasurable, users desire to take more opioids so they can keep feeling the same. There are specific chemicals in the brain responsible for a feeling of pleasure when opioid drugs are taken. When these neurotransmitters receive the opiates, pain is eliminated and pleasurable feelings occur, making it easy to keep taking opiates.

The problem with the continued use of opioids is that regular use of them can lead to addiction. Essentially, you can become addicted to the prescription pain pills your doctor prescribes for you and you can become addicted to street drug opiates like heroin.

All opiates are addictive.

Why Drug Addiction Occurs

Why is it that some people become addicted to opioids and others don’t? There are various reasons and circumstances, but there are several factors that cause one person to be more prone to addiction than another.

  • Genetic factors – Research has shown that when a person has a close relative with an addiction, they are more likely to struggle with addiction than those that have never had such a family history.
  • Coping factors – Individuals who have experienced trauma, or have difficulty in coping with negative feelings such as anger, depression, life circumstances, pain, etc., are more apt to turn to opioids for relief and a sense of euphoria. The pleasant effect that eliminates the negative mood can easily lead to addiction.

Other factors include a history of addiction, state of mental health, resources, and more.

Signs And Symptoms Of Opioid Abuse

  • Taking more opioids than prescribed
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Purchasing opioids illegally
  • Drugs used for longer periods than intended
  • Inability to reduce the number of drugs taken
  • Spending a lot of time to recover from the drugs
  • Need more opiates to get the same effect
  • Stealing opioids
  • Buying opioids on the street
  • Doctor shopping to get more opioids
  • Lower levels of appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping

Are All Opioid Drugs Addictive?

All opioid drugs have a similar feature, which is depressing the central nervous system of the body and essentially giving a peaceful and euphoric feeling. These certainly make all opioids risky for addiction, as the effects on the brain and the mind can make it tough to resist wanting to take more.

I’m Addicted To Opioids: What Should I Do?

Whether you’re addicted to pain pills, heroin, suboxone, or another type of opioid, reaching out for professional help from addiction experts is your best route to get free from addiction. Coming off opioids is a process and takes time. You shouldn’t try to quit taking them cold turkey or abruptly because the withdrawal symptoms can be quite daunting.

And, if you stop taking opioids, your tolerance decreases. Then, if you relapse and try to take the same amount you were taking, you are at risk of overdosing.

A medically supervised detox under the care of substance abuse professionals is the safest way to come off opioids. They can help you taper off the drugs, as well as provide the emotional and mental support you may need to stay off them. In some cases, maintenance medications like methadone or suboxone are used to help those with opioid use disorder (OUD) get free from harsher opioids. This should always be done under professional supervision.

Addiction Services in Vancouver: Opioid Addiction Rehab

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opioids, do not hesitate to contact us for help. Here at Into Action Recovery Society, we offer personalized, effective addiction services in Vancouver for a variety of addictions, including opioids. We have excellent substance abuse professionals on staff who would love to help you learn helpful tools for overcoming addiction.

We offer various phases of treatment for men, including a 60-day First Stage Residential Program, an additional 30-day Second Stage Transitional Program, as well as sober living homes for those that may need or want additional support.

You will feel right at home in our programs. You will receive the addiction treatment you need while enjoying ongoing support from on-site staff and/or support groups. You will also be able to meet with a professional counselor to address addiction, as well as any emotional or mental health concerns you may have.

Know that you’re not alone in your struggle with addiction. And, you don’t have to continue to try quitting on your own. Give us a call today and let us assist you with getting started with your individualized path toward addiction recovery.


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