Keyword(s): signs of opiate addiction
How common is drug abuse? More common than you think.
According to government statistics, more than 24 million people have used some sort of illicit drug in the past 30 days.
Some of the most common ones include marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Misuse of prescription drugs is also an issue. Take opiates, for instance--over 2 million Americans are addicted to them each year.
The longer you take them, the greater the risk of health problems. That’s why it's so important to recognize the symptoms early.
Want to know the signs of opiate addiction? If so, you’re on the right page. We’ll be going over everything that you need to know below.
Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Opiates?Opiates are a group of drugs that are commonly used to relieve pain. Derived from the opium poppy plant, they come in various forms. For example, you can take it as a pill or get it injected as an IV.
Man-made versions of these drugs are called opioids. Generally speaking, they work in the same way. If anything, the risk of addiction is just as high as their natural counterparts.
What is Opioid Addiction?Opiate addiction is a chronic disease that can cause serious health problems. Put it simply, it makes an individual want and need opiate drugs.
Without it, they’ll likely suffer withdrawal symptoms that’ll affect them physically and psychologically. For instance, they might experience muscle cramping, insomnia, agitation, anxiety, and diarrhea.
The only way for them to prevent these withdrawal symptoms is by taking more opiates. As you can imagine, that only makes the problem worse in the long run.
Opioid Addiction Risk FactorsVarious factors can increase the risk of addiction. For example, the longer you take opioids, the higher the chance that you’ll become addicted.
Individuals with a history of substance abuse, criminal activity, risk-taking behavior are also at a higher risk. In addition to that, women are more likely than men to have an opioid addiction.
Why? The chance of them receiving opioids for pain is higher. There are also biological factors that make them dependent on drugs more quickly.
Side Effects of Opioids Opioid painkillers are associated with a number of side effects. While it depends on the exact drug, most will occur within 30 minutes.
Some of the most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, impaired judgment, shallow breathing, and feelings of calmness.
Rarely, it can lead to an overdose, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Treatment For Opioid Addiction There are various ways to treat opioid addiction. Counseling, for example, can help individuals stay clean. It allows them to escape cravings and teaches them how to manage life without drugs.
There are also medications that you can take. They act on the same targets in the brain as other opioids but do not give you a high.
Not only will they decrease cravings but they'll also reduce withdrawal symptoms. This will give your brain a chance to recover from the addiction.
6 Signs of Opiate Addiction The earlier an addiction is caught, the easier it will be to treat. Here are a few warning signs to watch out for:
1. Doctor Shopping Some people become addicted to opioids after being prescribed them for a legitimate reason. Once they run out, they’ll want to get more.
To hide their addiction, many will resort to seeing multiple doctors aka they will be "shopping for doctors." Keep in mind, however, that it's not always obvious. In fact, many will get away with it before getting caught.
2. Physical Changes There's a high chance that an addiction will cause physical signs, most of which are easily noticeable. For example, an individual might seem confused or drowsy. In some cases, they might appear elated.
Another thing to pay attention to is their breathing. Those who are addicted will likely be breathing more slowly—this is due to the slowing down of the central nervous system.
3. Financial Problems Opioid addiction can cause financial hardship. After all, these drugs cost money. According to one survey, 48% of respondents (individuals with drug addiction) admitted to having depleted their savings.
Others may attempt to borrow money, sell their assets, or take out a high-interest loan for funds.
4. Social Challenges Individuals with an opioid addiction may withdraw from social interaction. Instead of spending time with others, they’ll seek out solitude.
For example, it’s not uncommon for individuals to drop hobbies and activities that they once used to enjoy.
Being alone gives them more opportunities to use the drug in secret. In some cases, however, it can worsen psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
5. Denial Many people with drug addictions are not aware that they have a problem. They might be aware that they’re dependent on a drug but they won't be willing to accept help and treatment.
Instead, they'll have the mindset that they can quit anytime they want to.
6. Legal Issues Those who abuse drugs are much more likely to get into trouble with the law. This might be due to impaired judgment (due to the opioids) or an increase in thrill-seeking behavior.
There’s also a chance that they’re breaking the law to get the drug in the first place.
Recovering From Opioid Addiction And there we have it—six signs of opiate addiction. As you can see, it can cause a variety of physical and psychological changes.
Looking for opioid treatment in the Indianapolis area? Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment!