There are a few signs that someone has an opioid addiction. It is important for family members to recognize some of these signs so that they can step in before their loved one’s addiction gets worse. On top of this, it is helpful to know what symptoms someone would display if they have been abusing opioids. This way you can tell if an addiction is starting and can help before it is too late.
Fighting an opioid addiction is one of the toughest uphill battles someone can go through. The withdrawal symptoms can be arduous and a lengthy process to overcome. However, with the right direction and support, it is very possible to get someone back on the right track in life in a short amount of time.
What are opioids used for?
Before we start to discuss some of the signs and symptoms, I first want to talk about what an opioid is and what its primary use is. Opioids are a class of drugs that can include the illegal drug heroin, along with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers that are available legally by prescription. Even though many people feel safe trusting their doctors, they do not understand the danger they are putting themselves in when they start on a course of opioid treatment. These drugs are very addictive and can be very hard to stop taking when you start. Many athletes can become hooked on these drugs; they take them to numb the pain so they can play their next game, and before they know it, they are addicted to those drugs regardless of if they have pain or not. This is why opioids can be so dangerous to the public and knowing the signs and symptoms that someone can convey while taking these drugs is important.
Signs and symptoms of opioid use
There are a few signs someone can display when they are suffering from an opioid addiction. Firstly, it is important to note if the person in question has been prescribed opioids in the recent past. If this is the case, it is imperative to keep an eye out for signs that they are still using the drug after their prescribed period is over.
One first sign to look out for is a rise in the levels of their anxiety on a daily basis. Do they seem more on edge than usual? If this is the case, the answer may be that they are still using medication that they shouldn’t be. This sign is part of the withdrawal process. Their addicted body is feeling uncomfortable as they have not had the dose it wants in a while. Therefore, their anxiety becomes higher than normal as they stress about when they can take their next dose.
Another tell-tale sign that someone is abusing opioids is that they become more secretive in nature about their habits. Typical eating and sleeping habits can be thrown off by taking these drugs, so that you could find that your family member is sneaking around your house at 3am as they cannot sleep right. This is definitely an irregularity in a normal pattern that you want to look out for, as it can be the start of finding help for the drug abuser.
Some of the symptoms that stem from using opioids start with a change in personality. Some people may become very aggressive at times and very subdued at other times. Sudden mood swings are normal for someone being controlled by a drug addiction in their life. They feel like they need the drug to function; therefore, they have massive mood swings depending on when the last dose came and when the next dose is coming. Along with this, the drugs can have an effect on the mind and body making people act and behave a certain way that they are not used to at all.
The dangers of opioids
As with all drugs, many dangers come with an addiction, the first being that of a deadly overdose. All it takes is for one batch to be wrong or someone to accidentally take too many pills in one time and it could be a life ending disaster. This is a leading cause of death in the drug world and is a major reason why people should tread lightly before taking drugs of any kind. Another reason is the way the drugs make people feel and what they make them do. It can be a slow death of the mind which can then lead the body to slowly shutting down. Dying from drug abuse is one of the worst ways to die and something no one should have to suffer through. This is why it is so important for people to help their friends and family whenever they can. Stay alert for the major signs and symptoms of drug abuse so you can know when to step in if needed.