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Understanding Addiction

For most who begin recreational use of drugs, including heroin and prescription opiate pain relievers, psychological and physiological dependence often comes as a surprise. Most begin to experience mild discomfort after the drugs begin to "wear off" and get relief from taking more of the drug they are abusing. Once this cycle begins, physical dependence develops into daily drug use and addiction.

Addiction to drugs includes people from all walks of life. While the stereotype may reflect some sort of depraved criminal, the reality is that opioid addicted persons are most frequently people that look like everyday people. Students, mothers, fathers, neighbors, and even doctors and lawyers are represented among addicted persons.

Sadly, too many people allow the stigma associated with opiate addiction to keep them from getting the help they need--help that may save their lives..




Facts

  • Anyone can become addicted. Drugs don’t care where you live or what you do. Taken in sufficient quantity, you will become addicted.
  • Opiates are addicting no matter how they might be used. While many people think of opiate addicts as “IV- needle users,” most are persons who have never considered using a needle. Addiction can grow from smoking, sniffing, and swallowing narcotic drugs.
  • Less than 10-20% of those needing help ever get it. Far too many persons experience a downward spiral until their lives are destroyed or worse. Sadly, death from overdose, suicide, or other medical complications ends the life of an opiate-addicted person.
  • Associated health risks with particularly risk of HIV, HCV relative to IV drug abuse
  • Contraindicated medications, possibly psychotropic medication interactions and the need to coordinate care between medical professionals.