young redhead woman sits near window in small apartment high suffering opiate addiction Alaska

How Quickly Do Users Get Addicted?

Alaska opiate addiction rates have been snowballing in recent years due to rising rates of both heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The rates of abuse between these substances have combined to create a wave of opiate addiction Alaska treatment centers can scarcely manage to contain. A quick glance at the numbers almost makes it seem as if the problem originated overnight.

Alaska Opiate Addiction Rates

In 2016, a Department of Health and Social Services bulletin indicated that the 96 opioid-related overdose deaths in Alaska that year accounted for more than 70% of all drug-related deaths throughout the year. Meanwhile, a barometer by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported approximately seven thousand yearly heroin users between 2014 and 2015. Not only does this indicate that opiate addiction in Alaska occurs at a rate nearly four times as high as the proportional rate of users nationwide, but it also indicates that the number of heroin users in the state nearly doubled since 2013.

How is it possible for addiction rates to increase so swiftly? Proposed answers tend to revolve around prescribing guidelines, but a more obvious answer may rest in the effects of the drugs themselves.

What Causes Opiate Addiction?

The crisis of opiate addiction Alaska currently faces can easily be traced to the immediate rush of euphoria experienced by heroin and opioid users. Upon taking heroin or prescription opiates, the user’s brain will experience a rush of dopamine that occurs both rapidly and with intense results. Many first-time users will find the experience so enthralling that they begin using more frequently in an effort to relive their first high. As they use more, they will develop a tolerance, making it even more difficult to achieve this goal. With repeated attempts, they raise their chances of developing a physical dependency. At this point, users will not be able to stop using without risking withdrawal symptoms.

Much of the opiate addiction Alaska users experience revolves around heroin, as it is one of the most commonly used drugs in the state. Since addicts cannot safely stop using once they become addicted, they will quickly begin to suffer consequences related to their use. Relationships, education, careers and more may be ruined by their opiate abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin use disorder can range from mild to severe, with the most severe addictions interfering with the user’s obligations in nearly all social areas while causing a plethora of short-term and long-term health defects.

The most extreme users can become severely addicted within weeks or months of using, although the addictive habits may begin forming almost immediately. Unfortunately, it can be years before the situation escalates to the point that users will recognize their need to seek treatment. Once they reach this point, however, they will find the help they need readily available.

Opiate Addiction Alaska Treatment

It may take a long time for many addicts to seek treatment, but recovery can commence immediately once the need has been recognized. As opiate abuse rates continue to rise, Aspire Alaska is here to serve those in need. No matter how quickly the addiction developed or how bad it has gotten, we are here to help those who suffer learn how to establish lasting recovery for the sake of maintaining a brighter future. Contact us today at (844) 278-2919 for more information on how you can escape the deadly spiral of opiate addiction before it’s too late.