Opiate and opioid addiction is a mounting problem throughout the world, with heavy concentrations in the rural areas of the United States. This type of addiction can creep up on your loved one slowly, and frequently stems from painkiller use following major surgery or accident. They are taking the drugs for legitimate pain management reasons, but extended use or using higher doses can create an environment where addiction comes to the fore. NC Wellness Center – High Point, a CleanStart company, can show you the signs of opiate addiction to watch out for and the medication-assisted programs to help beat it.
What are the Signs of Opiate Addiction?
One of the hallmark signs of opiate addiction is an inability to stop themselves from using this drug. Their body expects the chemicals and if it doesn’t get what it wants, then a number of withdrawal symptoms could occur. These symptoms are uncomfortable and painful to deal with, so someone addicted to this substance will continue taking it to stave off that feeling.
Inability to Think About Anything Else
Opiates dominate everything they think or do. Their activities will center around maintaining access to the drug and may involve illegal activity to get more opiates or to get the money for these substances. The inability to focus on other things in their lives will negatively impact them in many ways, from divorces to job losses.
Lashing Out if Addiction is Mentioned
Your loved one may get upset or argumentative if you bring up the potential for opiate addiction. They may change the subject or pick a fight. It’s not uncommon for people addicted to opiates to lash out violently in these situations, even if they have never had an anger problem in the past. If you confront your loved one when they have gone too long between their last dose, the behavior may be significantly more extreme than if they are under the influence of the drug at the time.
Losing Significant Amounts of Weight
Their appetite may decrease due to opiates, which leads to a drastic weight loss. They could forget to eat or simply have no interest in food, or anything that isn’t their substance of choice. Malnutrition, dehydration, and other symptoms of disordered eating may appear. Pay close attention to weight loss that doesn’t appear to have a distinct cause, as using opiates every day could lead to this situation.
Sudden Money Problems
If your loved one needs to acquire a steady supply of opiates, they’re going to eventually need to turn to the black market. Not only do they spend money on access to their opiates, but the amount that they need will also continue to increase over time due to their addiction. The body requires more of the chemical to have the same impact and can lead to your loved one chasing a high that drains their wallet. Some signs of opiate addiction to watching for in this category include drained savings, unexplained withdrawals, late bills, repossessions, and foreclosures.
Opiate addiction can impact everyone’s behavior differently, and the way someone acts also depends on whether they have the drug in their system or they’re waiting for another dose. Shifts in behavior without another cause are notable, especially if the behavior is negative in nature. Some changes in behavior to watch out for include:
- Increased flakiness
- Lack of attention to friends, family, and work
It’s never easy to worry about whether your loved one has an opiate addiction. When you see any concerning signs of opiate addiction, contact NC Wellness Center – High Point at 833.455.2570 so we can help your loved one as soon as possible. The sooner someone enters a treatment program, the sooner they heal, recover, and return to living their best life.