Opioid addiction is currently considered an epidemic in the United States, and with this type of drug use being so common it is important to be able to recognize some signs of potential opioid abuse There are several ways that opioid addiction begins, but perhaps the most common is transitioning from prescription medication to harder substances over time. However, this is a look at symptoms of general opioid abuse and not prescription opioid addiction specifically. To learn more about the signs of prescription opioid abuse, you can read one of our other articles on the subject here.
There are physical, psychological, and social symptoms of opioid abuse. All three types can alert others of drug use, but physical signs can be the most concrete in detecting an opioid problem. Here are some of the physical signs of opioid addiction:
-Small “pinpoint” pupils
-Changes in sleep patterns and feeling tired more often
-Frequent flu like symptoms
-Sudden weight changes (loss or gain)
-Decreased sex drive
The above symptoms can range from relatively mild to extremely severe, and most patients do not exhibit every sign on the list. Please note though that mild signs can worsen and become life threatening very quickly. It is important to recognize when symptoms are progressing and to seek medical attention as soon as you can. This is the same for withdrawal symptoms, and due to the dangerous nature of an opioid drug detox all addicts should receive care at a drug rehab center.
Psychological symptoms also pose a safety threat to the opioid user, and they should be taken just as seriously as the physical symptoms are. Some of the mental signs of opioid addiction include:
-isolation from friends and family
-sudden problems at work, school, home, etc.
-Feelings of euphoria
-slowed mental function
-Sudden changes in normal behavior
Therapy during and after drug rehab is crucial, as these psychological symptoms can be long lasting. Dangerous occurances such as suicide or relapse can be potentially avoided, and rebuilding daily routines can be made easier.
Social signs often begin as a result of psychological symptoms and financial problems. They are sometimes easier to spot from an outside perspective; however, and noticing these strange behaviors can allow for others to try and help an addict. Here are some probable social signs of opioid abuse:
-Withdrawal from social activities
-Asking others for money
-Sudden problems in relationships
-loss of a job or dropping out of school
Remember that there are numerous resources for those encountering opioid addiction. Rehab centers, addiction specialists, and therapists are all more than willing to help throughout the detox process, and even afterward if needed. It may help to take up things like exercising or new hobbies to curb cravings and keep yourself busy as well. For those with a loved one who is experiencing opioid abuse, therapy and support groups can provide support during difficult times.