Exploring the Various Causes Behind Opioid Dependency

Diablo Valley Treatment on April 24, 2018

Unfortunately, substance abuse and dependency are common occurrences in our society. Many families are impacted by this problem. Individuals who suffer from dependency are constantly dealing with the negative effects of a harmful substance. One kind of problem that a lot of people have is an opioid dependency. But, what exactly causes this type of issue? There are many different reasons people become dependent on opioids. They vary from case to case, so, it’s helpful to know what can lead to this problem. This is especially good knowledge to have if you or a loved one might be struggling.

What is Opioid Dependency?

Sometimes, people have prescription medication that falls into the opioid category. When people think of opioids, they might think of heroin. However, opioid dependency can happen when people are using medicines in this category. Dependency happens when people have used the substance for a long time. As a person uses an opioid medication for an extended amount of time, he or she may begin to build up a tolerance for the substance. This means that the person’s body may begin to get used to the normal dose. This dosage will become somewhat ineffective. So, the person will feel the need to take a higher amount of medicine in order to feel the effects. This tolerance may lead to dependence.

Opioid dependency is a physiological reliance on the substance. Individuals who suffer from chronic pain can sometimes become dependent on their opioid pain medication. It’s possible for someone to feel that they need more medication, even if they don’t actually need it. People who have become dependent on an opioid will normally experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the medication. So, what makes people become dependent on prescriptions like this?

Why Do People Become Dependent?

Opioid dependency has various causes. Like we mentioned before, some people become dependent on pain meds because of the chronic pain they experience. Chronic pain patients, unfortunately, sometimes have to take quite a bit of medication to manage the pain. This, in turn, often leads to opioid dependency. Of course, people don’t usually intend to become dependent. In fact, opioid dependency can set in without the person even realizing it. This is sometimes what makes it so hard to recognize.

Opioids can be very strong. They alter the brain’s activity as they work to block feelings of pain. They can create feelings of euphoria, instead. This is another reason people might begin to deal with opioid dependency. Some individuals even start taking opioid medication without a prescription. In some cases, a person who once needed the medication might continue to take it even after a medical professional has told them that they no longer need it. Think of people who have recently had surgery. They might need pain meds for a short time during the recovery. But, they probably won’t need it forever. Even so, the physiological effects of the meds may cause dependency.

Fighting Opioid Dependency

How exactly does one overcome opioid dependency? The best way to fight this problem is to seek help. Here at Diablo Valley, we understand how difficult it is to avoid dependence. We also know that it’s possible to do so. Our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program is designed to help people get past this issue. Our goal is to see people live a life free from opioid dependency.

Do you know someone who has become dependent on a medication or some other substance? Or, do you feel like you may be struggling with this problem? Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Contact Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services MAT today.