It is a known fact of how opioids are massively addictive substances. Numbers show how severe opioids abuse has become in the last decade. Approximately 10.3 million Americans above the age of 12 and older have misused opioids in the year 2018. This also includes 9.9 million people consuming it under prescription abuse and 808,000 heroin users.
Opioid addiction is a chronic disease that can lead to fatal health, social, and economic imbalances. These drugs alter the nervous system and lead to artificial stimulation of feelings associated with pleasure and pain relief.
However, there are some opioids in the market today that are legally prescribed by some of the most experienced doctors that help to heal severe and chronic pain.
These numbers are highly alarming, and what we need urgently is to indulge in an open discussion about the addictive nature of opioids. There have been a lot of debates on how addictive opiates are. So, let us see if a person can get addicted to it the first time one uses it
How does one get addicted to Opiates?
It is a known fact that opioids alter and cause an imbalance of the natural chemistry of the brain, increasing drug tolerance. This means that over time to achieve the same effect that you first experienced, you will require a much larger dose of opium.
So, the consumption of opioids over a longer duration of time can only increase an individual’s dependence on these drugs. This reaches a point where on restricting its use, people experience intense physical and psychological symptoms such as muscle cramping, diarrhea, and anxiety.
This dependence soon changes into addiction when a person starts consuming it even when the bodily demands are met.
This is how if not consumed in strict supervision and under doctor’s prescription, this dependence can soon turn into an addiction.
What does Opiate do to your brain?
An opiate drug such as heroin is potent. They are made from morphine extracted from opium poppy plants. When opium enters your body, it mixes with the bloodstream instantly and reaches your brain quickly. It alters your central nervous systems completely. It affects specific receptors in your brain that are responsible for the perception of pain and pleasure. Because of this, a person under the influence of opium experience euphoria that he cannot experience in ordinary life.
Opium numbs down your sensations that are associated with pain. Because of this opium is often responsible for imbuing people with euphoric spells. Moreover, once opium takes its complete control over your nervous system, it also affects the signals that are sent to specific parts of the brain that regulates your heart and breathing rates, memory, balancing control, alertness, and emotional control. It affects the brain stem, cortex, and even the limbic system.
The affect opium has on the limbic system plays a massive roll in a person losing its faculties and falling prey to addiction. Opium is responsible for causing this system to release dopamine. Dopamine leaves people with intense feelings of satisfaction and happiness. Although these feelings last for brief periods, they are often followed by long hours of drowsiness and mental imbalances, too, in some cases.
So, it is essential to form critical thinking towards this. People who see everything in harsh tones of black and white discard opium as something harmful and detrimental. However, there have been proven records of how, in thorough supervision, they have worked wonders for people suffering from grave illnesses.
Can one dose of opium lead to addiction?
Opioids have shown excellent results on people suffering from physical pain. In the medical field, there are a plethora of medicines made from opioid substances. Medicines such as Fentanyl, Methadone, Oxycodone, and Meperidine are generally considered safe for consumption. It is essential to consume these drugs under thorough supervision of doctors and follow the dosage schedule as suggested by the doctors.
Opioid addiction is often considered to be very powerful and creates compulsive urges in oneself to consume opioid drugs even when the body does not require it medically. So, it is true that opioids have a high potential for making people fall prey to addiction, also when they are consumed in correct proportions as advised by the doctors.
People who get addicted to opioids lose track of priorities and consider its consumption as of utmost importance. This quite often destroys and utterly imbalances their professional and personal life. Prioritize getting and using these drugs over other activities in their lives, often negatively impacting their professional and personal relationships. There is no medical tracing of why some people are more likely to fall for opioid addiction than others.
It is not proven that opiates can cause addiction in the first spell of consumption. However, it is a known fact that opioids are much more addictive than other drugs out there. So, it should only be consumed during cases of medical emergencies.