Why Do Opioid Addicts Relapse So Much?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal and legally prescribed drugs. They include illegal drugs like heroin or street fentanyl and legal drug pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, and many others. Opioids are highly addictive, and the addiction and overdose deaths are a major problem that is growing throughout the United States.
The chances of relapse are the highest when it comes to opioids. Some studies have shown that upwards of 90% of people in recovery will experience a relapse. One of the biggest reasons why opioid addicts relapse is because of the psychological power that opioids have on people. Opioids alter the pathways and structure of a person’s brain. Some even experience deterioration of the brain’s white matter and this makes it more difficult for people to make decisions and respond to stress and even regulate their behavior. This can make it very difficult to stop using and stay stopped.
Opioid Addiction is Difficult to Overcome
It is also shown that people who have an opioid problem often begin abusing them due to underlying pain problems. Prescription opioids are prescribed for pain management perhaps after a surgery or a major injury. Many people get hooked on pain medication, but they are expensive, and the prescriptions may run out. This causes a lot of people to graduate to illegal opioids such as heroin because it is much cheaper and accessible. The problem with opioid addiction and pain management is just because the opioids have been taken out of your system, it still leaves the underlying pain and addiction problems. This is a common reason why people relapse.
For some people, relapse occurs because, after they complete treatment, they will go right back into the same environment and social life that they were in when they were using opioids. This triggers a lot of people to the point where they can no longer fight the urges to no use, especially when those around them are using.
Why Opioid Relapse is So Dangerous
If you have successfully stopped using opioids, then you are now at risk for relapsing. When someone is addicted to an opioid and experiences a relapse, it means that they resume using the drug after they have stopped for some time. It does not always happen, but without the proper support and guidance, it’s unfortunately very common.
As the body starts to become used to functioning normally without opioids in your system, its tolerance for the drug also begins to lower. When a person is in the grips of their substance abuse, they may have been using very high amounts of their drug of choice because they have build up a tolerance to the drug. So when they get sober their tolerance goes down.
When relapse happens and a person goes back to using opioids, they overestimate the amount of the drug they will need to feel the effect. This commonly leads to overdose and death. According to the CDC, in 2018 alone almost 70%, more than 67,000, drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. Getting professional treatment for opioid addiction as quickly as possible is critical on the road to recovery.
Professional Treatment for Opioid Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of addiction, being part of a statistic in this opioid epidemic does not have to be the end of your story. You can be treated, and you can recover from your addiction and lead a happy, fulfilled life. Our team of qualified professionals is available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have. It is time to put the pain and misery of addiction in your past and rebuild your life into something you are proud of. Now is the time to make the change. We, at Evoke Wellness MA, want to help you do it!