Opiate addiction develops in stages, gradually taking over the brain, body and mind. This same progression takes shape within a person’s drug-using patterns, starting out with a once-every-other-day to once a day and eventually multiple times a day.
While you may be able to manage your affairs during the early stages of opioid addiction, the further along you get the more noticeable the addiction becomes. Granted, it’s difficult to see addiction’s effects from a first-person point of view, but certain key signs do develop along the way.
Putting off getting needed opioid addiction treatment leaves a person wide open for the worst of what addiction has to offer. In effect, the sooner the problem is dealt with the easier it’ll be to live life without the “need” for the drug.
Feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 to ask about opiate addiction treatment programs.
Opioid Addiction Effects on the Brain
The “high” effect that opiates bring comes at a high cost, weakening the brain’s functional capacity over time. With each dose, opiates trigger the release of unusually large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals; chemicals that are normally secreted in gradual amounts based on the body’s needs, according to NeuroImage Journal.
The compulsive drug-using practices of opiate addiction change how the brain works, which accounts for the physical, emotional and psychological decline that addicts experience over time.
The Dangers of Avoiding Opiate Addiction Treatment
Increasing Tolerance Levels
The brain easily integrates opiates within its chemical system, so a person has to keep taking large amounts in order to experience the desired effects. With this growing tolerance for opiate effects, a person ends up chasing a drug “high” that gets harder and harder to come by.
These conditions place users at high risk of overdose, especially during the later stages of opiate addiction.
The strain that opiate addiction places on the brain’s chemical system creates widespread imbalances that eventually start to impair the emotion-based areas of the brain, National Institute on Drug Abuse. After months or years of drug abuse, users face an increasing risk of developing psychological disorders, such as depression, panic attacks and generalized anxiety.
Once full-blown psychological problems take shape addiction severity increases significantly.
Opiate addiction’s effects essentially warp the the brain’s cognitive centers leaving addicts unable to exercise common sense, let alone make sound judgments or decisions. These conditions account for the ongoing decline that takes place within major areas of a person’s life, some of which include:
- Physical health
- Employment status
- Legal problems
When left untreated, the effects of opiate addiction gradually diminish a person’s quality of life as well as his or her sense of self-esteem.
Opioid Addiction Treatment Considerations
Opiate addiction exerts its greatest effects within a person’s thinking and perceptions. For these reasons, it’s important to seek out needed treatment help now, rather than thinking you’ll eventually “snap out of it.”