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Opiate Addiction: How Quickly Can You Get Addicted?

Addiction is a complicated topic, as it can take many forms and express itself differently depending on each individual person. There are an innumerable number of factors that go into determining if someone is addicted. Some people may try something once and not feel the urge to return to it, while others may find themselves thinking about using a substance again soon after they are introduced to it. With so many different environmental and biological factors at play, it is common to wonder if drugs like heroin are addictive after one use. Different drugs will also have different levels of addiction, with opiates, especially heroin, being some of the most addictive substances that someone can try. Knowing how people get addicted to heroin, and how many people get addicted to heroin after trying it, can help inform someone of the risks involved, and how quickly that addiction can set in after just one use.

Nobody Plans for Addiction

No matter how addictive a substance may be, there is never a situation where someone intends to get addicted. Opiates are an especially difficult case, as addiction can often begin as part of prescribed pain medication. Due to heroin’s similarities with other prescription opiates, addiction can develop from seemingly innocent and innocuous into destructive habits very quickly. How people become addicted to heroin can vary widely, but it never starts with an active intention to become addicted. Rather, addiction can be the result of various environmental factors, a reaction to stressful and anxiety-inducing situations, and even one’s own biology and their genetic predisposition to addiction.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Opiates or Heroin?

heroin addiction

Physical dependency can involve the body’s various reactions to being without the drug, even for a rather short period of time. Aches and pains, nausea, and headaches are just some of the plethora of symptoms that may indicate a physical addiction. The psychological aspect, however, can be formed after a single use of heroin or other addictive substance. This involves creating a positive relationship with the drug being used and indicates they have a dangerous, warped perception of how the drug may be affecting them. Withdrawal from an addictive substance can be a painful experience that requires medical supervision. However, heroin is a particularly difficult case. Not only is it one of the most addictive substances in the world, but it is also a pain reliever. This means that someone who is in pain from withdrawal from opiates may turn to heroin not just as a relapse, but also simply to relieve the intense discomfort that comes with withdrawal.

How Do People Get Addicted to Heroin?

The question, “How does someone become addicted to heroin?” involves first understanding addiction as a whole. How addiction takes hold of someone on a biological level has many different factors involved. Each individual person may have a different risk associated with addiction, with some being at a more vulnerable predisposition to become addicted. However, there is a chance that anyone can become addicted, especially when discussing the realm of opiates and heroin. These drugs hijack the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain — the chemicals responsible for making someone feel good or happy. In a sense, they gain control of when these feelings are experienced and demand the use of the drug in order to signal that it is time to release these essential happiness chemicals. How long it takes for these drugs to ingratiate themselves in the brain and hijack the receptors can vary from person to person, but is also based on other factors. The frequency of use is also a factor, as well as how much is used at one time. It is possible to become addicted from using very small amounts a few times, or even from using a large amount just once.

Signs That Someone May Be Suffering From Addiction

treating heroin addiction

While the curiosity and urge surrounding opiates and heroin may be prevalent, there is always a risk to become addicted even after just one use. It can be impossible to determine exactly how long it takes to become addicted to heroin for each person; each use always carries that risk. While how people get addicted to heroin can differ, the effects of an opiate or heroin addiction can be devastating on a person, as well as their family and loved ones.


Recovery from a heroin or opioid addiction is a difficult prospect and involves a lot of work and the aid of a professional. Addiction itself is a difficult disease to navigate. However, the professionals at Chateau Recovery are adept in addressing the individual needs of each person, their addiction, as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be plaguing someone in their recovery. Detox and recovery are difficult and uncomfortable, but the environment created at Chateau is used to provide the support they need, even during the most vulnerable times in their lives. No two stories of addiction are the same, and we will work alongside you to personalize a recovery plan that is catered to your unique needs and goals. Taking the first step is never easy, but Chateau can help you set your goals and instill the strategies that you need to walk strong.
Call us today at (435) 222-5225 to set up an appointment.

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