What is Opioid Addiction?
The onset of addiction can be rapid and severe, depending upon the amount and frequency of use. Individuals who are opioid dependent will “crave” more of the drug and will experience symptoms of withdrawal if they do not receive their regular “fix” or dose. Opioids stimulate the “pleasure center” by releasing an excess of dopamine in the body. Once the brain’s chemistry is altered, it causes users to need an opioid continuously.
As a result of the chemical dependency, individuals who are addicted to prescription pain medications/opioids or heroin can develop an expensive habit that often times results in spending excessive amounts of money on a daily basis. Most individuals are unable to keep up the expense of supporting their dependency. Consequently, individuals typically resort to unhealthy lifestyle choices in an effort to support their addiction.