Identify and Understand Opioid Dependence

Understanding Opioid dependence—physical addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin—affects many people in the US.  Unfortunately, many people who struggle with opioid dependence may be reluctant to ask for help because of the stigma attached to the notion of “drug dependence.”

Opioid dependence is a complex health condition with many elements that are caused or made worse by continued opioid use.  Key elements include social, psychological and biological components.  Opioid dependence can occur as the brain adapts to the regular use of opioids over time.  People who are opioid dependent may continue using opioids despite experiencing harmful consequences.

Opioid dependence is a chronic disease that can affect anyone.  It could be a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, a brother, a sister or a parent.


Identify and Understand Opioid Dependence

Physical addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin affects numerous people in the US as well as worldwide.  It is a problem that affects many different people, their families, and communities.  It is a monster that does not discriminate based on race, religion, or social class.  Unfortunately, many people who struggle with opiate addiction may be reluctant to ask for help due to a stigma that is a “character flaw” or a poor “morale” choice….

Opiate addiction is a chronic disease of the brain resulting from a deficiency of dopamine.  This is the chemical of the brain that allows us to feel “normal” and experience genuine contentment and happiness.  The dopamine deficiency in an addicted person may be due to genetic predisposition or events/traumas that were endured previously in life.  This person may have fears, anxieties and a low self-esteem that no one knows about.  They put on a great false face in order to fit into their surroundings.  If this person ever takes an opiate the majority of their abnormal feelings go away and for the first time in their life they may feel “normal”, good or even great. 

This is the beginning of a long road of destruction.  People begin to take more and more opiates to accomplish the same feeling and eventually there is not enough of the drug available to fill the need. The addicted person has developed so much tolerance to the opiates they begin to feel agitated, anxious, tired and depressed.  They may reach a point in which they feel so desperate that they would do almost anything to obtain their drugs.  This includes lying, stealing and even neglecting their own families.  What began for most as mild withdrawal symptoms has turned into something that is almost unbearable.  This is the point in an addicted person’s life that they can allow the disease to progress until the point of death or incarceration or they can seek treatment in order to make a change.


Opioid dependency is often an unintended consequence of proper pain management.  Determining you are dependent is the first step to changing your life.


Our physicians are experts in leveraging the Suboxone treatment process and will clearly layout a plan with milestones in order for you to track your process.


Treatment is a journey and the destination is your lasting sobriety.  Our physicians at A New Start Clinic are dedicated to helping you achieve lasting change in your life.