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How to Recognize the Signs of Opioid Addiction
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Opioids can include both illegal drugs, such as heroin, and prescription pain medicines, like morphine. While the drugs are effective pain relievers when used as directed, the calming effect the substances have can be habit-forming and lead to abuse patterns, which makes knowing the signs of opioid addiction extremely valuable.
In the late 1990s, healthcare providers began to prescribe opioids for pain relief at greater rates after being led to believe they were non-habit forming. In turn, there was widespread misuse, and today the U.S. faces an opioid epidemic with 10.1 million people misusing prescription opioids in 2019. With how readily available and highly addictive these prescriptions are, it is quite easy for anyone to develop a problem, and recognizing signs of opioid addiction can be lifesaving.
Opioid use disorder is defined as not being able to go without using opioids and when use interferes with daily life. One of the early signs is taking the medication more frequently or in more significant amounts than prescribed. Physical dependence can occur and creates withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and sweating. Once a physical dependence happens, it can be harder to stop the addiction. Knowing the signs of opioid addiction and symptoms early on and getting immediate help can help treatment be more effective.
Signs of Opioid Addiction
Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person and depending on the length of addiction. The most common physical and behavioral signs of opiate addiction are:
- Inability to control opioid use – The person cannot stop or cut down on the opioid. They may also feel they need a higher dose to get the same effect (tolerance).
- Making appointments for multiple different doctors – A doctor will set limits on the number of refills for a prescription opioid to prevent abuse. Still, if the person runs through their prescription quickly, they will seek other doctors to give them new medications.
- An impact on quality of life – They may have new strained relationships or perform poorly at work or school. They have stopped regular activities and hobbies they used to enjoy.
- Changes in personality and behavior – Lying about the amounts of narcotics used, “losing” prescriptions, stealing or borrowing narcotics from friends and family, and hiding opiates in various places are big red flags.
- Excessive sleeping – Opioids cause drowsiness and a relaxed state, which causes sleeping at odd hours or more than usual. Some will even fall asleep during activity while just sitting or standing.
- Lowered inhibitions and poor judgment – Like many other narcotics and alcohol, it alters the way the brain makes decisions. Other cognitive symptoms will include slowed thinking and difficulty concentrating.
- Changes in moods – Depression, anxiety, sudden outbursts, paranoia, anger, and irritability are among the different temperaments present while having an opioid abuse issue.
- Noticeable changes in personal appearance – There can be a decline in hygiene and weight loss.
- Track marks on arms and legs – Repeated injection drug use will leave visible scars and blemishes, especially along a vein.
Physical side effects of opioids:
- Constricted pupils
- Flushed skin
- Difficulty urinating
- Bloodshot eyes
- Decreased respiratory rate
Physical addiction to opioids will cause withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping
Treatment for Opioid Addiction at JC Recovery
Treatment for opioid abuse should start with seeking a reputable rehabilitation center for help. Treatment for opioid addiction is brutal to go about alone, and withdrawal symptoms can even be deadly. Medication-assisted treatment, such as methadone and buprenorphine, is essential for opioid detox to help with withdrawal symptoms safely and help with cravings.
JC’s Recovery Center offers excellent opioid treatment in Hollywood, Florida, to address addiction holistically. Our mission is to use an individualized approach for people of all faiths, including diagnosing and treating mental health disorders that could be an underlying factor of their addiction.
Therapies included are individual and group therapy, trauma resolution, and life coaching. We also offer Naltrexone for some patients recovering specifically from opioid addiction to fight cravings. It is an extended-release medication formulated to gradually release to block any effect of opioids for up to one month. The most effective form of treatment to prevent relapse is one that includes both behavioral therapy and medication.
Please contact JC’s Recovery today at (844) 524-6873 to find the best addiction treatment to help overcome opioid dependence.