Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the United States. In fact, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, roughly 20 million adults in the U.S. will experience an opioid-use disorder at some point in their lives.
It’s so commonplace that many people think it’s normal to become addicted to opioids after being prescribed for pain management during surgery or another medical procedure. But it’s not normal, and you shouldn’t have to fear becoming dependent on these drugs forever—especially when they are being given by well-meaning professionals who only want to help you recover from pain quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, as drug manufacturers continue creating stronger and more addictive versions of opioid drugs, abuse has become pandemic across the country. To help you identify if you or someone you love might be struggling with opioid addiction, we’ve compiled a list of the signs of opioid addiction below.
What is Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion to abuse opioids. People addicted to opioids feel like they cannot live without the drugs. They may also experience physical withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop using opioids.
People who are addicted to opioids may use the drugs for medical reasons or for recreation. Some people may even do both. Common opioids include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Some opioids are made from opium, while others are created in laboratories. Doctors can prescribe opioids to treat pain after surgery, injury, or an illness.
People who use these drugs for medical reasons usually take them as prescribed. But when people use opioids recreationally, they often take more than the recommended amount.
When you’re addicted to opioids, you may begin abusing them by taking a higher dosage than recommended or taking these drugs more frequently than directed.
Effects of Opioid Addiction?
If you or a loved one is already addicted to opioids, you may wonder, “what will happen to me if I don’t get help soon?” While it’s true that opioid addiction varies from person to person, it’s also true that the longer you abuse these drugs, the more damage you’re putting on your body.
Specifically, if you continue abusing opioids, you could suffer from any combination of the following symptoms:
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Having diarrhea
- Feeling frustrated or angry
- Feeling restless and having trouble sleeping
- Having mood swings
- Experiencing decreased sex drive
- Experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle for women
- Experiencing changes in your hormone levels for men
- Experiencing changes in your metabolism
Signs of Opioid Addiction
Now that you’re clear on what opioid addiction is, it’s essential to understand the signs that it’s occurring. If it’s happening to you or someone you love knowing what to look out for could be what you need to take the next step and begin seeking opioid addiction treatment from a qualified treatment center.
Keep in mind that if you’re amid addiction, it’s common that you’re in denial about your addiction signs and begin to make excuses for them. However, it’s crucial to remember that to seek help; you first need to be honest about where you are in your addiction journey.
The more honest you are, the better off you’ll be as you continue treatment. Read on now to find out the glaring signs of addiction.
1. Flushed Skin
When you’re struggling with opioid addiction, one of the first signs that you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms is flushing or reddening of your skin. This happens because of changes in your blood circulation that occur when you’re not using the drugs.
A side effect of opioid addiction is increased blood pressure and heart rate. Both can contribute to your skin color changing and fluctuating as you continue to use.
2. Increased Memory Problems
Opioid addiction can also cause significant memory problems. This is because when you’re abusing opioids, your brain cells undergo changes that lead to forgetfulness.
For some people, prolonged use of drugs can cause them to slip into a psychosis, which is when you have a mental break from reality. After you enter treatment, it will take some time for your brain to heal from the damage done by the constant presence of drugs in your system.
3. Growing Detached From Others
If you notice that one of your loved ones has become detached from others, it could be a telltale sign of opioid addiction. This happens because forming strong relationships is challenging when you’re not present in the moment.
Another reason people grow detached from people is that they don’t want to face the reality of their addiction. If you spend time around people and are using, it’s only natural that they will start questioning your use, and you might not be ready to answer these questions.
4. Drug-Seeking Behaviors
People who are addicted to opioids often develop drug-seeking behaviors. If you notice your loved one engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors, such as stealing money, lying to loved ones, or driving while under the influence of drugs, it could indicate opioid addiction.
Other drug-seeking behavior includes stealing from people in exchange for money to buy drugs in the future. These behaviors increase legal problems because as a person’s addiction becomes stronger, doing whatever it takes to secure the next high is all that’s on their mind.
The only way to stop is to seek treatment help, and one of the options is to use Suboxone. If you want to know more about Suboxone doctors and how it can help, click here.
Signs of Opioid Addiction You Need to Know
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs of opioid addiction in yourself or someone you love, it’s time to get help. Getting help for opioid addiction is possible, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone.
If you want to know more about this subject or supporting topics, check out some other posts in this section.