• I really do think for the vast majority of cases, doctors didn't think they were doing anything wrong - they were doing what was being recommended at the time, and many times people were able to take these prescription opioids and not have a problem with it. But what we do know is that if we take these drugs long-term, dependency develops quickly, within as little as a week. What we all have to realize is that these pills are chemical cousins of heroin - one is an illegal opioid and one is legal, but they are relatives.