To understand why opioids are addictive here are five facts about opioid addiction and what opioids are. Opioids are a substance that dulls the senses and reduces the pain signals that the body sends to the brain. Opioids are usually prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. However additional side effects include slowed breathing, constipation, nausea, confusion and drowsiness. Opioids are a class of drugs that are naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids are made up of legal and illegal drugs such as:
- Morphine and many others.
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Facts about Opioid Addiction.
Early Opioid Prescriptions Often Lead to Later Addiction
Being prescribed opioids prior to graduating high school increases abuse by 33%. Teenagers are very likely to become addicted because they have not completed their cognitive development. Teenagers take risks and are at a development stage where they venture to try new things without thought to long term issues. The teen years are a time for experimenting and determining the type of adult they will become.
Opioids Are Chemically Similar to Heroin
Opioid painkillers like Vicodin and oxycontin are chemically similar to heroin. Heroin is an illegal opioid. It is shocking how two prescription drugs can be chemically similar to an illegal substance. It is less shocking to know that all of these opioids have a chemical composition of Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen. These same elements are present in the human body. What makes the opioids different from one another is the amount of each element present in each substance. With that in mind it is understandable why so many people who start out with prescription drugs end up with addictions and eventually move to heroin.
80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller. There are painkillers that have similar a chemical composition as heroin. This would mean that they would have similar effects on the body when taken.
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Opioid Death Rates Are Increasing
As the death rate of major killers like cancer and heart disease decline, opioid death rates continue to increase. With the constant increase in advancement within the medical industry new treatments are being discovered. The rates of detection for heart disease and cancer have increased and the number of specialists for these fields has increased. History of heart disease and cancer in families is tracked by physicians and they investigate potential early signs and prescribe preventative medications.
However with opioid addiction and death, there is no way to track and prevent. Doctors are hesitant to prescribe opioids in any situation other than severe instances. This makes prescription opioid difficult to have access to however heroin is easy to track down and purchase illegally.
Opioid Addiction Can Happen Quickly
Dependence on prescription opioids can happen after just five days. This seems like a very short amount of time for addiction to occur but the drug itself takes effect after a few minutes once it reaches the bloodstream. The opioids activate powerful reward centers in the brain and trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins work to quiet the pain receptors and boost feelings of pleasure.
There Are Several Facts About Opioid Addiction. The Most Important is that Opiates are Addictive
Given these facts, it is apparent that opioid addiction is severe and creates a chemical imbalance in the user’s brain. The listed five facts about opioid addiction simply skim the surface of the severity of the illness. There is an abundance of information on the topic and researching will help the detection of a silent killer. But what's most important is that opiates are addictive. Give us a call today at 888-481-8803