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Why Are Painkillers so Addictive?

Opioid pain killers cause a euphoria that becomes highly addictive, but the opioids in these drugs attach themselves to opioid receptors in the body. The body produces naturally occurring opioids to combat pain, yet painkillers are more potent opioids and replace the naturally occurring ones. The body becomes dependent on the new opioids to manage pain. Moreover, there is no ceiling effect with opioids, which means tolerance continues to increase. The more opioids the person is taking, the more tolerance they have requiring a higher dose. Dependency and tolerance is only one aspect of addiction. Opioids create a psychological euphoria that creates the feeling of floating or being detached from your body and feeling light or weightless. The first time you use opioids the euphoria is intense yet can never be duplicated. An opioid user will never have that same experience from the first time they used opioids.

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There are two things that keep opioid addicts on the drugs they are abusing. One is the physical dependency, which results in painful withdrawal when they stop using. The second is psychological addiction, which is the euphoria created with each use. The fear of the withdrawal pain and not having any opioids in your body keeps addicts continually taking these drugs. Most prescription opioid painkiller users are also using heroin because it is much cheaper than the opioids they are taking. Opioids are also used in combination with other drugs, such as alcohol, or prescription stimulants. This is a dangerous mix and does increase the chance of an overdose. Opioid overdose does result in death if immediate medical attention is not gotten. If you are struggling with a painkiller addiction, it is important to reach out for help and find the proper detox and drug treatment.

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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More