Opioids work by reducing the number of pain signals that your body sends to your brain. This form of killing pain has caused the demand for opioids to skyrocket over the last 20 years. What has also increased is opioid addiction, turning into a national epidemic that has affected millions of people. Still, the signs of opioid addiction are not always easy to identify. One reason for this is because of the stigma placed on prescription medication. A person in pain can slowly develop an addiction without their friends, family, or coworkers realizing it. However, as with any other problem with substance abuse, the signs of opioid addiction become more apparent as the user becomes more dependent. NC Wellness Center – High Point can help those struggling with opioid addiction through our outpatient opioid addiction treatment center.
What Are the Signs of Opioid Addiction?
The symptoms of opioid addiction are similar to that of any other drug. Therefore, the central component is the changes that the addiction makes in a person’s life. Some of the main symptoms of opioid addiction may include those listed below.
Physical Signs of Addiction
Whether it’s heroin or prescription medication, an addiction to opioids starts to take its toll on the user as early as 30 days after they start using the drug. A person may start out being tired all of the time. Also, they may experience other physical symptoms, such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lack of coordination
- Small pupils
- Shallow breathing
- Track marks from heroin use
The physical signs start to develop over three to six months and slowly get worse. Eventually, a person may experience health problems that range from digestion problems to issue with the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
While the physical signs of addiction can take a while, the behavioral signs can become apparent faster. There can be noticeable changes in a person’s behavior, lifestyle, or overall mindset. When the addiction is at its peak, the user may become unrecognizable to everyone around them.
Behavioral issues may include dramatic mood swings, secrecy or alienation, legal issues, financial problems, disinterest in otherwise common activities, changes in dress, lack of hygiene, or developing an obsession with the drug.
Long-Term Health Effects
Opioid addiction is dangerous and can lead to terminal health problems or even fatality. The long-range side effects can include:
- Scarred, damaged, or collapsed veins
- Mental disorders such as anxiety or depression
- A decline in respiratory function including pneumonia or tuberculosis
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive problems such as intestinal obstruction
- Sexual dysfunction
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
A person who attempts to stop using opioids may encounter mild to severe withdrawal symptoms that can last for three to fourteen days. Withdrawal symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, restlessness, sweating, cramps, lack of energy, insomnia, tremors, shaking, or extreme cravings.
For this reason, a person who is considering quitting their addiction should get professional treatment at a detox center. A treatment center provides comfortable facilities, qualified staff, medication-assisted treatment, and 24/7 emergency care. Success is far greater inside a detox center than it is trying to detox at home.
Getting Help for Opioid Addiction
If you notice that someone you love is exhibiting the signs of addiction, then you may want to address the problem immediately. If you are unsure how to help someone, then speak with a treatment specialist on the best way to stage an intervention. With the right guidance, you can save someone’s life.
If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, then now is the time to get help. Regardless of the signs of opioid addiction, it is never too late to get on the road to recovery. To find out more about your treatment options, call NC Wellness Center – High Point at 833.455.2570. We are here to help you break the cycle of addiction.