top of page
 / Opioids / How Does Opioid Addiction Start?

How Does Opioid Addiction Start?

The most recent data shows that opioids were responsible for 56% of drug overdose deaths in the United States from 2019 to 2020. As a result, synthetic opioids are the leading cause of mortality from drug overdoses throughout the country.


Overuse of heroin has been blamed for the majority of opioid-related deaths in the past. However, it is now widely understood that prescription opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl are significant contributors to the current opioid crisis in the United States.


But where does opioid dependency first manifest itself? As such, we'll provide a more in-depth response to this standard and crucial topic below.

What Are Opioids and Opioid Addiction?

Some people turn to opioids, also known as narcotics, to alleviate pain. These medications are a family of natural or manufactured drugs that have been shown to react with neurons. Doctors often prescribe opioids for the management of severe pain.


Opioids numb pain and generate a sensation of pleasure, which may make them highly addictive. Together with the development of tolerance that necessitates ever-increasing dosages for the same benefit, this may result in opioid dependence.


As a result, doctors have changed their procedures to prescribe opioids less often and at lower doses to lessen the likelihood of dependency.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center Opioid Helpline

Anytime, day or night, you may call us at Rolling Hills Recovery Center at 855-559-8550. We'll work with you to find the best treatment plan.


Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

Don't See Your Insurance?

Our staff will help you step by step, answering any questions you may have.


In What Ways Are Opioids Different From Opiates?

The Papaver somniferum plant, which occurs naturally, is the source of opiates and is responsible for producing the active component in various opiates. Opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine are all examples of opiates.


An opioid is a drug that may be obtained from the poppy plant. It can be synthetic or semi-synthetic, which means that the active elements are generated artificially in a lab.


Another source of opioids is the human body's natural response to pain. Opioids are widely used, including morphine, OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and others.


No two opioids are the same, yet all opiates are opioids. Yet, despite their molecular differences, opioids and opiates have identical effects on the body and carry a comparable risk of addiction.

What Medical Conditions Do Prescription Opioids Treat?

Moderating and alleviating severe pain with opioid prescriptions is an acceptable practice. These may include the following examples:


  • Acute pain.

  • Discomfort caused by cancer.

  • Pain felt after surgery.

  • Damage to the blood vessels, such as in a severe sickle cell crisis.

Some opioids have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat severe coughing and persistent diarrhea. Healthcare practitioners utilize opioid loperamide to treat gastrointestinal issues such as gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Codeine and dextromethorphan, two opiates, reduce the urge to cough.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 opioid addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

What Symptoms Should One Expect To See In Opioid Addiction?

People with substance addiction may alter their habits. Indicators could include:


  • Becoming a part of a new social circle or switching friends.

  • Having a hard time being among other people and preferring their own company.

  • Disinterest in previously loved activities.

  • Not taking care of personal hygiene by washing, bathing, or cleaning.

  • Immense exhaustion and emotional distress.

  • Fluctuating between excessive or inadequate intake.

  • Over-energizing, speed-talking, and making illogical statements.

  • Having anxiety or temper tantrums.

  • Rapid shifts in emotion.

  • Irregular sleep patterns.

  • Failure to appear for scheduled events.

  • Facing legal problems.

  • Keeping a poor attendance record at work or school.

  • Struggling financially.

How Does Opioid Addiction Start?

Drugs that have a direct effect on the neurological system are called opioids. They have the ability to alleviate pain as well as provide pleasurable effects. However, the root reasons for opioid addiction remain unknown, despite the disease's pervasiveness and stealthiness.


According to the available data, opioid addiction is caused by a complex interplay of biological, ecological, behavioral, and social factors.


Due to their unique interactions with the brain, opiates, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, etc., are highly addictive.


These medications work by binding to and activating opioid receptors, which prevents the transmission of pain messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Subsequently, dopamine is distributed systemically. This results in pleasure and tranquility, which keeps a person returning for more.

Treatment at Rolling Hills Recovery Center

What Causes Opioids To Be So Highly Addictive?

Although opioids are effective painkillers, they also produce a state of euphoria and great enjoyment that many individuals find delightful.


Habitual users of opioids eventually build up resistance to their effects. They may continue to increase their dosing to recapture the initial level of pain reduction and ecstasy. Opioid addiction is a mental and physical state that may result from long-term usage or abuse.


When a substance takes up such a large portion of a person's waking thoughts, feelings, and actions that they feel compelled to use it despite its adverse effects on their life, that person has developed a psychological dependence.


For those who have developed a physical reliance on a substance, withdrawal symptoms will occur if they abruptly cease using the drug or lessen the dose they are currently taking.


Those who have become physiologically reliant on opioids will suffer withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt cessation of use. As a result, people may be tempted to increase their drug use to alleviate withdrawal discomfort.

Questions About The Rehab Process?

Our goal is to provide valuable and up-to-date information on addiction treatment.

verification-art-dedictible (1).png
verification-art-copay (3).png

There are thousands of drug rehabs to select from, making it challenging to choose which is suitable.

Addiction treatment is essential; many methods exist to help pay for drug and alcohol rehab-associated costs.

There is a cost associated with drug rehabilitation, but the advantages of seeking care are worthwhile.

Causes & Risk Factors

Addiction to opioids has both biological and psychological roots. Those things are:


  • The use of opioids is facilitated by the availability of these drugs, whether obtained legally or illegally.

  • Development of a physical tolerance to opioids.

  • The need for ever-increasing supplies.

  • Signs of withdrawal.


Potential precursors to opioid dependence are:


  • Firsthand experience with alcohol or other drug abuse problems.

  • Inheritance of a propensity toward drug abuse.

  • Sexual abuse while the victim was a child.

  • Background with mental health issues.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Opioid Addiction

  • Substitution therapy and methadone maintenance are the two most used treatments for opioid dependence.

  • Medications like methadone and buprenorphine, opioid agonists, are used in treatment.

  • Counseling for substance abuse disorders, including detoxification, outpatient programs, and mutual-support organizations like Narcotics Anonymous.


In the proper dosages, opioid drugs like methadone and buprenorphine are safe and effective alternatives to heroin and other illicit drugs. In addition, they may help people find stability in their lives by eliminating withdrawal symptoms when taken as recommended.

It is common practice to use a mix of opioid agonist medications and addiction treatment counseling when addressing opioid addiction and the opioid crisis.


Rolling Hills Recovery Center Is Here For You. Verify Your Insurance Today.

A patient navigator is ready to help. Our team of dedicated professionals are here to help 24 hours a day.


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
How Does Opioid Addiction Start?
Causes & Risk Factors
What Causes Opioids To Be So Highly Addictive?
Diagnosis & Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Are You Ready To Change Your Life?

Our experienced staff is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call today and change your tomorrow.

Not Quite Ready To Talk? Request A Call Back

Request Call Back

Protected by reCAPTCHA and Google privacy and terms of service apply

Levels of Care
Addiction Information
Specialty Therapies

Rollinghillsrecoverycenter.com proudly supports:

Rolling Hills Recovery Center NAME ONLY (3D - white logo dark background)_edited.png
425 Main St. Chester, NJ 07930

Toll-Free: 855.559.8550
Email: Info@rollinghillsrecoverycenter.com

images (6)_edited_edited_edited.png

Copyright © 2024 Rolling Hills Recovery Center, LLC

on-phone-pic- (1)_edited_edited.png

Check Your Coverage

You Could be Covered 100% for Treatment

texting-pic-2 (1).png
Safe and secure insurance verification
In what ways are opioids different from opiates?
What medical conditions do prescription opioids treat?
What symptoms should one expect to see in opioid addiction?
What are opioids and opioid addiction?
bottom of page