Opioids release an excess of dopamine in the brain causing a continuous need of opioids to the opioid receptors . Most opioid including heroin and Oxycontin, are short acting opiate, meaning the “high” lasts 2-3 hours. Therefor, a person addicted to opiates will experience the beginning of the withdrawal symptoms within 2-3 hours.To relieve the withdrawal symptoms, opiate addicts will use again, continuing the cycle of abuse.
During active use, the opiate addict is unable to focus on anything else but relieving the withdrawal symptoms. Traditional drug free treatment modalities have not been effective with this population due to the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced.