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Why is opioid addiction so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Drug Crimes

Opioids include a wide range of substances, including legal and illegal drugs. All carry a high risk of addiction, which can lead to legal issues, health problems, interpersonal conflict, and more.

Because of the effect of these drugs, opioid addiction can have very serious consequences. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you or a loved one experiences substance abuse issues.

Addiction risk factors

While keeping in mind that anyone can fall victim to addiction issues, certain risk factors make them more likely to occur. People with a previous history of substance abuse generally have a higher addiction risk when using opioids, whether using them legally or illegally. This includes a family history of substance abuse, which also increases the chance of addiction.

People experiencing stressful circumstances must also exercise caution, as opioids have a sedating effect that can relieve anxiety in the short term. People that have experienced mental health issues like depression and anxiety in general also have a greater risk of misuse and addiction.

Short and long-term effects

Taking opioids releases certain feel-good chemicals in the body, which can relieve pain and discomfort. Over time, overuse of opioids diminishes their effect on the brain and the persons taking them to build a tolerance to the substance. As a person’s tolerance increases, they must take more of the drug to induce the same feeling.

At the same time, the drugs begin to cause physical effects when not taken. For instance, a person may feel ill when levels of the drugs deplete in their body, also known as withdrawal. Withdrawal is a serious matter that requires medical assistance to navigate.

You can reduce your risk of becoming addicted by avoiding all illegal drugs. When it comes to prescription opioids, follow your doctor’s orders and always use the medication in an intended manner. If you experience issues, bring them up with your medical provider right away.