Nowadays, opiate abuse and addiction show up in headline after headline, with rates of addiction increasing every year. It only makes sense for a person to wonder “am I addicted to opiates” considering how addictive these drugs can be.
Opiate addiction and dependence represent two different stages of the drug abuse cycle, though it is possible for a person to become addicted to heroin-based opiates from first time use.
While long-term opiate use in any form increases the risk for addiction, each person’s body reacts to opiates in different ways so addiction can develop more quickly in some cases. Ultimately, the question, am I addicted to opiates or just physically dependent depends on the role opiates play in your day-to-day life experience.
Call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) for information on opiate addiction treatment options.
Am I Addicted to Opiates? – Questions to Ask
Do I Plan My Daily Schedule Around Getting & Using Opiates?
A physical dependence on opiates affects the brain and body on a physical level, leaving the brain unable to function normally in the absence of the drug. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, addiction affects the mind, creating a type of psychological dependence on the drug’s effects.
With addiction, opiates takes on top priority to the point where a person arranges his or her day around two primary motivations: obtaining needed drug supplies and using the drug.
Do I Need Opiates to Cope with Daily Life Responsibilities?
While the body’s physical dependence on opiates most definitely paves the way for addiction to develop, a person doesn’t necessarily need the effects of the drug to cope with daily life pressures or make it through the day. According to the New York Academy of Sciences, a full-blown addiction creates a mental and emotional need for opiate effects. This “need” is what causes drug cravings and also drives the type of compulsive drug-using behavior that characterizes an addiction problem.
Have I Experienced Negative Consequences from Using Opiates?
If you’ve reached the point where you’re asking, “am I addicted to opiates” it’s likely you’ve experienced one or more negative consequences from using drugs. By the time opiate addiction takes hold, the brain’s overall chemical and structural makeup has changed in radical ways.
In effect, opiate abuse breeds widespread brain chemical imbalances over time. Under these conditions, a person’s thinking, priorities and motivations have all become obsessed with experiencing the opiate “high.”
These changes inevitably affect a person’s judgment and decision-making abilities to the point where he or she will sacrifice other important life areas, such as work, family and self respect for the sake of getting and using the drug.
The fact that you’re asking “am I addicted to opiates” is a good sign, regardless of whether you’ve developed an addiction problem or just struggle with physical dependence. Letting an opiate abuse problem spin out of control is a surefire way to end up addicted to the drug.
Ultimately, it’s best to seek out some form of treatment help regardless of whether a physical dependence or addiction is at work as both conditions grow progressively worse with time.
If you have questions about opiate addiction treatment options or need help finding a treatment program, feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction specialists.