Opiate medication is at an overall high.
One in four patients prescribed opiates become addicted. After the patient finishes their prescription, their addiction still encompasses their life. They will take to the streets to buy their painkillers.
Identifying an opiate addict is more difficult than identifying other substance abuse addicts. Since opiates are legally prescribed, your loved one can easily make excuses or say they have a legal prescription.
An opiate addict will show signs different from those who take opiates by prescription. Here are common signs of opioid addiction.
Taking Opiates Against Doctor’s Orders
While opiates are powerful medications, they can be used safely. As long as you follow your doctor’s orders, a patient can use opiates with minimal addiction risk. For the patients who become addicted, they don’t follow doctor’s orders.
The average doctor will prescribe a low dose of opiates and will only increase their prescription if they think it’s necessary. Patients are only prescribed opiates for serious issues, such as post-op pain or a pain disorder.
Do you notice your loved one eats opiates like candy? If you approached them about it, they probably complained about pain and said taking a high dosage is approved by their doctor.
To check the validity of their claims, see if you can view their prescription. If you can’t find one, contact their doctor. Keep in mind, a doctor is only legally allowed to share patient information if the patient consents.
This may not be the best sign to look for but it’s one of the most common. Fortunately, there are other signs you can look for.
Most opiate addicts experience intense mood swings.
This is the result of the medication; opiates alter the way a person feels, reacts to certain situations, and controls them physically and emotionally. This is why mood swings are one of the first signs you should look for.
The two most common mood changes include extreme elation and sudden depression.
Opiates cause a euphoric sensation. When the drug wears off, the user falls into a deep depression. The user desperately wants that euphoria back and uses more drugs to achieve that same elation.
Your loved one can also feel other emotions. They may feel closed off and even hostile. They will likely know they have a problem and will avoid contact with their loved ones. When you reach out to them, they may lash out.
Opiate induces a deep sleep. But when you use opiates regularly, you develop sleep issues. Rather than falling asleep, you black out. Your sleep is restless and you’re not in control of your body.
As a user becomes more addicted, opiate abuse can lead to insomnia.
If you notice your loved one is taking opiates and is experiencing sleeping changes, this is due to the medication.
Identify These Signs of Opioid Addiction
Are you noticing the signs of opioid addiction in one of your loved ones? They need help. Take a look at our outpatient rehab options.