Opioid abuse is a problem that is growing to epidemic proportions in America, affecting adults of all ages. In most cases, it begins when opiates such as oxycodone, morphine, or codeine are prescribed to treat severe pain. These are powerful pain relievers that are extremely effective. However, victims fall into the trap of addiction all too easily.
In addition to those who start down the path to opioid addiction through legal means, many are obtaining opiates without a prescription to get the same effects. If you believe someone you love is struggling with addiction to opiates, it’s important that you recognize the signs.
Understanding Signs of Addiction
There are telltale signs that a person suffers from an opioid addiction like Oxycontin abuse or using heroin. They include:
- Continuing to take prescription opioids when there no longer is a need
- Taking more than the prescribed dose of opioids
- Switching doctors in an effort to get a prescription for opioids
- Loss of interest in typical pastimes
- An increase in the amount of energy to the point of being hyper
- A loss of appetite
- The inability to sleep
- Desperation to have more opioids
What are the Effects of Long-Term Opioid Abuse?
Over time, the victim of opioid abuse will need more and more of the drug to get the same effects. At the same time, it will take a toll on the body. Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and nausea are serious side effects that can put your loved one at a greater risk of health problems. If your loved one is cut off from the source of addiction, severe symptoms of withdrawal are typical. Sweating, chills, nausea, a stomachache, aching throughout the entire body, uncontrollable shaking, vomiting, and diarrhea can make your loved one miserable. Withdrawal can be so severe that it pushes your loved one to find more opioids again. In an effort to find relief, it can lead to overdose, which has the potential to be fatal if not treated in time. If you see the signs and you are worried about your loved one, it’s time to get help.
Helping Someone with Addiction: There is Hope
Watching someone you love fall into the trap of alcohol or drug addiction is discouraging. You just want to make it better. The best thing you can do is sit down and talk with the person you love. Get them to open up about their addiction. Help them to see that they have a problem. Once a victim of addiction is willing to get help, you will make it over the first hurdle. The next step is to find an addiction recovery program that is a good fit for your loved one. If opioids are the problem, choosing a program that focuses on opiate addiction is key. It’s going to be a long, uphill battle. Freedom from addiction won’t happen overnight. It will take the support of addiction recovery specialists, family, and friends to help your loved one to leave opioids behind.
Outpatient and inpatient programs are available. An inpatient program provides the most intensive type of therapy, providing your loved one with a safe, protective environment where all access to opioids will stop. Your loved one will have the opportunity to concentrate on his or her health and nothing else during this crucial period of recovery. Detox will break the hold of opioids on your loved one as all traces work their way out of the body. Counseling sessions will lead the way to sober living.