Learning About the Signs of Opioid Addiction Can Help You Understand Opioid Abuse and Treatment
Before we can start looking at the signs of opioid addiction, we need to understand exactly what an opioid is. This includes addressing questions such as the difference between opiates vs opioids and opioid abuse and treatment. Opiates cover a wide variety of different prescription and recreational drugs including oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, codeine, morphine, heroin, and opium.
Symptoms and Signs of Opioid Addiction
While the most notable sign of any addiction is it’s continued use despite consequences to one’s life, health, and finances, there are a number of other signs of opioid addiction that can be seen in a person’s behavior and appearance. While none of these are concrete evidence of someone’s addiction, they can be helpful in discerning the signs of opiate withdrawal and abuse.
Physical Signs of Opioid Addiction
- Sedated Behavior or Drowsiness
- Trouble Focusing, Irregular Confusion
- Constricted Pupils
- Slowed, Labored, or Depressed Breathing
- Nodding Off, Trouble Staying Awake, or Loss of Consciousness
- Trouble Using the Bathroom or Constipation
Behavioral Signs of Opioid Addiction
- Seeing Multiple Doctors, or Having Multiple Prescriptions for the Same Medications
- Irregular or Dramatic Mood Swings
- An Excess of Empty Pill Bottles
- Isolation, or Irregular Antisocial Behavior
- Sudden and Uncharacteristic Financial Problems
When looking at opiates vs opioids, and the dangers of opioid addiction, one of the key components that generally gets a lot of attention in pop culture is opiate withdrawals. Signs of opiate withdrawal can be clear indicators of abuse and can be uncomfortable, and even dangerous, for the user. We took the liberty of making a list of the most common signs of opiate withdrawal.
Signs of Opiate Withdrawal
- Migraines and Headaches
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Diarrhea and Irregular Bowel Movements
- Excessive Sweating and Irregular Body Temperatures
- Exhaustion and Fatigue
- Anxiety and Nervousness
- Trouble Sleeping and Insomnia
Opiate Abuse Treatment
Opiate abuse treatment starts with a consultation and counseling with an on-staff psychologist. These sort of counseling session generally start with questions like how did you start taking opiates, how long have you been taking opiates, when was the last time you took the drug, and how did you usually get the drug?
These questions help opiate abuse treatment centers create an initial detox plan, and give them a general guideline in starting your recovery process. Of course, this will not be the only psychology or therapy treatments, but there needs to be a jumping off point to kick-off opiate abuse treatment. Depending on the intensity of the signs of opioid addiction and the signs of opiate withdrawal, recovering addicts may need medications to help create a more comfortable detox. For example, suboxone, methadone, and buprenorphine are common drugs used to assist patients who are withdrawing from opioids. While these medications can be extremely helpful, it’s important to only use these under strict medical supervision, as they are still prescription medications, which present their own benefits and risks. After going through detox the true recovery can begin, with hard focuses on relapse prevention and create healthier more effective coping skills to assist patients as they try to obtain a life free of drugs.
If you or someone you love is showing signs of opioid addiction, signs of opiate withdrawal, or opioid abuse, then treatment may be the difference between a healthy life of recovery, or a life of pain and addiction struggles. Don’t let addiction take a hold of your life, choose life, choose sobriety.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.