Opioids activate the release of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. When a dose of an opioid begins to fade, you might end up wanting those great feelings that were felt while under the influence to stick around. This is the first step on the path toward potential addiction. Since doctors today are very much aware of the risks associated with opioid use, it’s often a challenge to get your doctor to raise your dose. Many people do not have luck in getting their prescriptions renewed.
At this point, once opioid users realize that they will not be able to obtain more from legitimate sources, they end up turning to the black market and go through a drug dealer instead. Most of the time people end up using heroin since this is more widely available on the streets. Many of the opioids obtained on the streets are tainted with dangerous substances such as fentanyl. Due to the potency of fentanyl, this has been linked to a substantial number of deaths in those using opioids. If you’re abusing painkillers and have developed an addiction, ask your doctor for help. Getting help from a professional can allow you to return to your normal life before you end up escalating to substances like heroin. Do not stop opioid medications without a physician’s help. Your doctor can help you taper off opioids slowly with minimal side effects.
Addiction is thought of as a condition where something that began as satisfying feels like something which you can’t exist without. Doctors specify drug addiction as an urge to receive a substance, out of hand and dangerous use of this substance, and repeated usage of this substance despite repeated, harmful effects. Opioids are highly addictive, mostly because opiates trigger the powerful reward centers in the human mind. When you choose opioids over and over again on a consistent basis, your biological system slows down its creation of endorphins. Precisely the same dose of the substance that used to produce effects stops creating such a powerful effect for the user over time. This is referred to as tolerance. One big reason opioid addiction has become widespread is that those who build a tolerance may feel as though they need to take larger doses so that they may continue feeling the mental and physical benefits of opioids.
Most people find that they begin to stumble into the territory of addiction after using their medication in a way other than how it is prescribed. Taking more than prescribed, or changing the way that the medication is consumed can lead to more pronounced effects. This is a slippery slope and is the most common way people end up abusing opioids.
Watch the video to learn more about how opiates affect the brain and the body.