While many parents tell their children not to ever try drugs, because you get addicted after one use, this isn't generally how things happen in most cases. However, it is true that addiction can happen at any time and it happens without warning. Many people assume an opioid addict is someone who started buying opioids illegally with the intention of getting high, but this is not always the case. This article will offer you an education on three different ways in which someone can end up addicted to opioids and why it's often necessary to get help from an opioid treatment center and/or an opioid addiction professional. 

Ongoing treatment for chronic pain

When someone is dealing with chronic pain, in many cases, they will be given an opioid pain medication due to its ability to help control one's pain to such a high degree. There are different types of opioid medications that come in a variety of milligrams. When someone takes opioid pain medication for chronic pain, they are at a high risk for addiction. Knowing they are addicted can be hard for those close to them because they have a legitimate prescription for the medication. Some signs to look for include running out of pills too soon, doctor shopping, and looking for other sources like others who have prescriptions or even drug dealers or peddlers in order to get pills. 

Short-term treatment for pain

When someone is injured or has just had surgery, they may be given a short-term prescription for opioid pain medication. While the medication is given to them for a legitimate reason, there is a chance they will end up addicted. This means, when the medication runs out, they will want more of it. In fact, this is a very common way in which people get addicted to opioids. This is often what leads to straight-laced individuals who have never even been known to overdrink, smoke, or do any type of recreational drugs to shocking people by being opioid addicts. Loved ones should be careful if someone in their life continues to take pain medication after a period of time in which the pain from their injury or surgery pain should be healed. It is likely they will need help for addiction if this has happened. 

Way to get high

Then, there are those who take opioids to get high and end up addicted. In many cases, addiction will be easier to spot than the other two examples given above because there will likely be more of a pattern of risky behavior and troublesome alcohol and/or other drug use present. These users should seek professional treatment from an opioid addiction professional and treatment center as soon as possible. Getting them to acknowledge this fact and to go often takes an intervention.

The difference between drug dependence and drug addiction

Someone who is taking this pain medication for a long period of time can become dependent, which means that they have built up a tolerance to it and need to take a higher dose to get the same relief they used to. Also, the body can have physical withdrawals to not having the drug anymore as a sign of dependence. However, while the person may need medical intervention when being taken off the drug, this alone does not mean they are addicted, only that they have become drug-dependent. Addiction happens when the person still wants or craves the drug from an emotional standpoint and this is when they should seek help from an opioid addiction professional. 

For more information on the ways people get addicted to opioids, reach out to a local opioid addiction professional.