Opioid addiction has become a pandemic in the US. As such, it is a hot topic that the media has taken up over the years. But despite the publicity it gets, not many people understand the seriousness of the matter.

According to the CDC, in 2018, over 67,000 people died as a result of a drug overdose. Out of those who passed on, about 70% were from illicit or prescription opioids. The opioid addiction and overdose pandemic first gained popularity in 2010, but the factors leading up to it started a couple of years before.

So, in a bid to control opioid addiction, opioid addiction hotlines have been set up. If you feel your opioid use it out of control, call the hotlines for help. Many of the hotlines operate 24/7 and offer compassionate support. If you need information or just someone to talk to, the opioid addiction hotline is there for you.

In this piece, we shall guide you through opioid addiction, and how the opioid addiction can help save the day.

What is opioids addiction hotline?

The opioids addiction hotline is a telephone number that you can call when you need help with opioid addiction. Even though opioid addiction is a pandemic in the US, many people do not know how to avoid addiction. And for those that are addicted, they need to know how to sober up before it is too late.

The good news is that even though it is very easy to get addicted to opioids, getting out of it is even easier in comparison to other drugs. On the flip side, given that they are prescription drugs, they are expensive. Because of this, many people have turned to heroin (an illegal drug) for a quick fix.

The individuals handling the hotlines are trained and experienced in opioids addiction. Their experience comes from years of guiding individuals to recovery and, for some, from personal battles with opioids addiction. And this is a great thing because they are more understanding and empathic about your situation.

Now, opioids addiction hotlines are set up purely for information and to save the day for all those in need. The calls are free and confidential. Also, no judgment is passed during the call, and there is no expectation for you to commit to any form of treatment. However, it would be great if you did before it is too late.

Opioids addiction hotline you can call

Knowledge is the greatest weapon to wield when going to war against addiction. There are several government resources you can reach out to for help. Like all hotlines, these organizations are prepared with information on opioid addiction, including addiction, treatment, and recovery.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.
  • SAMHSA: 877-726-4727.
  • Crisis Test Line: this hotline is for individuals in crisis who insist on communicating through texts. The get in touch simply send CONNECT to 741741.
  • Covenant House Teen Hotline this organization serves runaways in their time of need. And since runaways are more likely to get into drug abuse, they set up a hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).
  • The Trevor Lifeline: the hotline is for members of the LGBT. In addition to answering questions on opioids addiction, it handles issues on sexuality, friends, self-esteem, and bullying. The number to call is 1-866-488-7386.

What questions should you ask when you call?

You might be afraid to call the hotline because you do not know what to say or ask. Well, to start you off, below are some common questions about opioid addiction.

  • How can I know if I am addicted to opioids?
  • What treatments are available for opioids addiction?
  • Do I have to detox before treatment?
  • Can the treatment be an outpatient program?
  • How long does the treatment take?
  • What happens if I have co-occurring mental health problems?

If you are getting information for someone else, you can ask the following question:

  • Will my loved one benefit from treatment?
  • How can I help my loved one in getting treatment?
  • What are the treatments available for different opioids?
  • How long does the opioid dependency/addiction take?

Should I call the opioids addiction hotline?

If you are thinking of treating yourself or a loved one, you must get the information first. With the withdrawal symptoms in play, things can get tricky if you do not know what to expect. We have mentioned that calling the hotline doesn’t require a commitment. But the information you get might change your life. Some of the issues the hotline touches on, and the reason you ought to call are:

  • What can happen during detox?
  • Types of therapies you can choose and which one is perfect for you
  • Medications to use during detox
  • Types of opioids addiction treatment
  • General information on opioids addiction, treatment, and recovery

What are opioids?

Opioids are a synthetic drug derived from opium. For many years, morphine was the most popular and commonly used natural opioid for pain relief. But with time, medical technology advanced, and pharmacists discovered methods of replicating the pain-relieving effects morphine had on the body. With their new ‘superpower,’ they could make the medication weaker or stronger depending on the patient’s pain levels. In the process, opioids like methadone were made to meet the high demand for pain relievers. Others, including heroin, were created as a less addictive alternative to morphine but was later declared illegal. In the 21st century, opioids are the go-to pain relief medication. Aside from the three opioids above, other opioids include:

  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Tramadol

How the opioid addiction pandemic began

This issue dates back to the late 90s. At the time, pharmaceutical companies were feeling innovative and were looking for better alternatives to morphine. They had a breakthrough with semi-synthetic and synthetic opioids, which they began pushing to hospitals. The marketing approach was that they were less addictive than morphine and didn’t come with all the dangerous side effects. And so naturally, the doctors jumped on these new inventions. Since then, opioid use has been through the roof, and hence the opioid addiction pandemic.

How opioid addiction happens

By now, it’s clear that anyone taking opioids could get addicted. However, opioid dependence and addiction depend on your health history and how long you use them. As a result, it’s close to impossible to determine who will get addicted and who will not get addicted. But how does someone get addicted?

Let’s get a little scientific. Opioids, like other drugs, trigger the brain to release endorphins. When the endorphins flood your system, your perception of pain goes numb, and instead, you feel pleasure. When the dose clears out of your system, you crave for the pleasure. This is the first step towards addiction.

Short term and long term effects

When you use opioids for prolonged periods, the brain reduces the amount of endorphin it produces. So with time, the same dose of opioids yields weaker feelings of pleasure. At this point, the body is developing a tolerance against the opioids. So to achieve the same strong feeling, most people increase their dosage.

With the opioids overdose death statistics, doctors are currently hesitant to increase the opioid dosage, let alone renew the prescription. And adding the fact that prescription drugs are expensive, many turn to illegal drugs like heroin, which is cheaper.

If you’ve noticed your body has built tolerance against opioids, you should call the opioids addiction hotline for help.

Note: do not stop using opioids abruptly as you can develop serious side effects. The side effects could include pain more severe than when you started using opioids.

Factors that predispose you to opioid addiction

Opioids become very addictive when you use them differently from the prescription guidelines. Some queer ways of using them include crushing the pill and injecting it into the bloodstream or snorting. These methods deliver the drug rapidly into the bloodstream and could cause an overdose. Moreover, taking a higher dosage than prescribed could put you at the risk of addiction.

How long you’ve used opioids also affects your dependence or addiction. According to research, individuals who use opioids for more than a couple of days are predisposed to long term use and addiction.

Other factors that predispose you to opioid addiction include genetics, your environment, and psychological factors.

How you can avoid opioid addiction

Opioid safe use is capped to about three days when managing acute pain, including bone fracture and recovery from surgery. But even then, you ought to work with your doctor to ensure you take the lowest dose and in the shortest time as prescribed.

If the cause of chronic pain is prolonged, opioids are not the best option. Other treatments, including nonpharmacological therapies and less-addictive painkillers, are best.

Note: no one is truly safe from opioid addiction. As such, if you notice a craving, reach out to a professional through opioids addiction hotline to learn more information.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms

You will know you are addicted to opioids when you have to use the drug to function normally. In which case, if you quit using the drug suddenly, you will experience some uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are the body’s way of telling you it’s trying to adjust to functioning without the medication.

While the symptoms of withdrawal aren’t life-threatening, they can still cause some major psychological and physical distress. Also, given the intensity of the symptoms, one might be forced to resort to using to find relief.  However, if one gets into the habit of using and stopping, it might prove difficult to quit.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal

The symptoms vary from one individual to another and could be mild or severe. Once you are dependent on opioids, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms 24 hours after your last dose. The symptoms will include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Stomach aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Constricted pupils
  • Sweating
  • Fluctuating blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors

How long does the opioid withdrawal last?

Opioid withdrawal can be split into four stages:

  • Anticipatory
  • Early acute
  • Fully-developed acute
  • PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

Depending on your addiction type, acute withdrawal could kick in after a couple of hours from your last dose. Usually, the symptoms in this stage resemble those of the flu. Once this stage ends, you get into the protracted abstinence period, which lasts for six months. During these six months, you are in recovery and could relapse from any minor trigger.

Withdrawal stage When it kicks in Symptoms
Anticipatory Between 3 and 4 hours since your last dose The withdrawal symptoms include fear and anxiety. Also, one has strong cravings and actively feels the need to acquire the drug.
Early acute Between 8 and 10 hours after the last intake Restlessness and anxiety reduce. You develop flu-like symptoms including sweating, vomiting, stomach aches, and nausea
Fully developed acute Between 1 and 3 days after the last intake The withdrawal symptoms include muscle spasms, body tremors, high blood pressure, insomnia, and, diarrhea
PAWS A maximum of 2 years after the last dose The acute symptoms have subsided. However, one might still get cravings, mood swings, depression, anxiety, agitation, poor concentration, insomnia, and drug dreams. During this stage, someone is still at a high risk of relapsing due to environmental triggers.



What to expect during opioid treatment

The treatment you undergo will depend on:

  • Which facility you choose.
  • The co-occurring conditions that manifest.
  • How deep-rooted the addiction is.

Every treatment center has a different intake. However, there is a good chance that you will discuss the treatment with the professionals. At this point, you will have to answer a bunch of questions regarding current and past drug abuse, the situation at home, and your medical condition. The information will then be used to create a special treatment plan for you.


Once the evaluation is complete, you will start the treatment on detoxification. During this process, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms, as explained above. The doctors will see to it that you complete the detox stage.

Choosing a rehab facility

After detoxification, you will continue your treatment and recovery at a rehab center. Usually, in the rehabs, treatments are split into outpatient and inpatient programs.

  • Inpatient rehab – as the term suggests, the treatment program occurs inside the facility. You receive medical attention and care around the clock. Often, it is intensive, and the environment is drug-free, which allows the patient to focus on sobriety. Within the rehab centers, patients are encouraged to be proactive and participate in therapies where they learn coping skills.
  • Outpatient rehabs – these treatment programs are slightly flexible. They are ideal for those who prefer to remain at home but still get treatment.

Aftercare services

This is the last step in opioids addiction recovery. Many people admit that the first couple of months after rehab are difficult. This is especially for those who too an inpatient treatment program. Getting back to normal life means you have to deal with adjustment and all kinds of temptations and triggers. As such, to ensure that your focus remains sharp, the rehab facility will offer an aftercare plan, which will include attending support group meetings, therapy sessions, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The aftercare plan will help to reinforce all the lessons that you learned while in rehab. Moreover, it will help you control temptations during the transition period.

Afraid to make that call?

All the above information is to get you started on the right path. However, to get everything you need, you’ll have to call the opioids addiction hotline. Do not let fear cripple you. After all, what is the worst that can happen while on a free and confidential call? Nothing, right? But on the flip side, a lot can go wrong if you do not take the first step for treatment.


How long do opioids stay in your system?

Well, it depends on a couple of factors, including the amount of opioids you consume and your history of opioid use. Also, your medical history, gender, and weight factor in on this. Different opioids have different effects. Some are long-acting, others short, and others are categorized as rapid onset. Generally, traces of opioids can be found in your urine between 1 and 7 days and in your blood between 6 and 24 hours.

Do I have to start treatment immediately after calling the hotline?

No, you do not. Calling opioids addiction hotline is all about getting information. You do not have to commit. Moreover, the representatives will not force you into a detox treatment program. But they will explain the benefits of doing so and hope that you do.

Why is opioid addiction different from other addictions?

While the addiction is generally the same, in the US, it carries more weight because of the statistics. Every year, from all the drug overdose-related deaths, more than half of them are from an opioid overdose. And the fact that they are prescription drugs doesn’t help the situation.