The scary truth is that it is easier to become addicted to opiates than one may think. The length of time it takes to become physically dependent on opiates varies depending on a number of different factors. How much and how often you use opiates, the type of opiate you are using, age, gender, size, metabolism and your opioid receptors all play a role in the length of time it takes to develop a physical dependency on opiates.
However, as far as the time it takes to develop a psychological or mental addiction, some users report knowing that they were hooked from the first time they tried opiates.
For many individuals, becoming preoccupied with the length of time it takes to become addicted to opiates or wondering how long they can continue to use them is itself a red flag. It is important to recognize both the physical and mental signs of opiate addiction. Developing a physical dependency on opiates is made apparent when one abruptly attempts to stop using and experiences certain withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Cold sweats
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Stomach cramping
- Dilated pupils
However, you can be addicted to opiates without actually being physically dependent on them. Signs of psychological addiction include:
- Continuing use despite physical, mental, legal or financial consequences
- Preoccupation or mental obsession with using and getting more opiates
- Using prescription opiates (Oxycontin, oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin) that have not been prescribed to you or taking more than the recommended dosage
- Developing a tolerance (requiring more of the drug to produce the same effect)
- Taking prescription opiates for the “high” rather than the intended medical effect
- Lying about your use
- Feeling guilty about your use
- Inability to control when or how much you use
- Using despite a desire not to do so
If you are concerned that you may be addicted to opiates, it is important to reach out to someone who can help. There is a Solution is a drug treatment placement service. We work with a large network of drug treatment facilities that provide varying levels of care, including detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, sober living and drug counseling.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love may have a problem with drugs, contact one of our addictions professional today by calling 1-800-832-5250. We are available 24/7 to take your calls and answer your questions.