With the country, including Minnesota, in the middle of an opioid epidemic, drug crimes are commonplace. People grow accustomed to the impact of drug addiction, and many families struggle with loved ones who suffer from addiction. The problem with the opiate crisis is that it does not always begin how people assume drug addiction occurs. In many cases, it may start with a simple trip to the doctor or dentist by an otherwise responsible college student.

The addictive nature of opiates

Opioid medications include the following:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Codeine

These painkillers block the pain receptors and release dopamine. If you suffer an injury, these painkillers will not only provide you relief from the pain, but they will also make you feel good. Following dental surgery, an injury or any other painful event, there is nothing wrong with needing painkillers. When you have a surge of dopamine and feel better under the influence of painkillers, your brain does not want to lose that feeling.

Responsible patients become addicted

Often, opioid addiction begins innocently enough. Doctors or dentists may prescribe the pills to patients who do need them. Opioids are among the strongest painkillers and useful for those with severe injuries and those who undergo procedures and need help alleviating the pain. The problem arises with a doctor overprescribing to a patient. When used for longer than five days, the addictive nature of the drugs may begin to show.

An otherwise responsible person may have to use opioids after a wisdom tooth extraction or to deal with an injury. Unfortunately, over time, patients become more reliant on the pills. They become tolerant and may require higher doses or more potent drugs. The urges to seek out drugs are often too strong for the patient to deny. To make matters worse, quitting opioids often results in unpleasant and serious withdrawal symptoms.