Why do people become dependent on opioids?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Drug Crimes |

Opioid addiction is one of the main culprits behind overdose deaths in the United States. You may have a substance abuse disorder if you face drug charges due to opioid use.

According to Mayo Clinic, all people who take opioids may be at risk for addiction.

Risk factors associated with opioid addiction

You can receive opioids for legitimate pain following an injury or medical procedure. While opioids can benefit those who need them, they become dangerous when taken too long. One of the main factors behind developing an addiction is the length of time you take the pills. Other risk factors include a history of substance abuse, family history of drug abuse, contact with high-risk individuals and depression or anxiety.

Effects of short-term and prolonged opioid use

When you take opioids, your body releases endorphins. The endorphins reduce your pain, create a sense of well-being and trigger pleasurable feelings. When in pain, you may want to keep that feeling as long as possible. Unfortunately, if you take it too long, you can quickly develop an addiction.

If you take opioids for more than five days, your risk of taking them for a year following increases drastically. As you continue to take opioids for the long term, your body becomes used to the substance. You gain tolerance and have to increase the dose. Increasing the dose can lead to overdose and worsen the addiction.

Quitting opioids suddenly can also result in painful, uncomfortable side effects. In some cases, you may have to taper off slowly under the supervision of a physician.