Finances & Money

How to Read the Signs of Opiate Addiction in a Loved One

3D illustration of “OPIOID ADDICTION” title on medical document

Is your loved one exhibiting signs of opiate addiction? You are not alone. America is in the grips of what President Donald J. Trump calls a “health emergency” when it comes to opioid addiction and abuse.

Keep reading to understand the signs of this terrible affliction.

What Are Opioids?

There are a large number of drugs that are called “opioids”. Generally, they are narcotic medications that interact with the human body’s “opioid receptors”, in both the brain and the nervous system in general. By gumming up these receptors, opioids can reduce the severity of physical pain in the body.

This ability to relieve physical pain can be a lifesaver and a blessing in the hands of a trained medical professional. These drugs are extremely useful in certain circumstances, especially with acute, severe pain associated with injury and surgery. Having been injured physically is a precursor of the signs of opioid abuse.

The problem with these chemicals is that they are highly physically addictive. Patients need more and more of the drug, to relieve the same amount of pain. Many people turn to street drugs, or not following their doctor’s precise instructions when taking these substances.

Addiction can be defined as a behavior that the person cannot control. With opioid drugs, a person’s entire psychological state can be affected. Getting more of the drug can become their highest moral virtue, putting it ahead of career, family, and even self.

This can be part of a pattern of self-destruction related to “getting high”, or a desperate attempt to avoid pain and suffering. Once addicted to opioids, a person can look forward to a long, drawn out, nauseating and dangerous withdrawal.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

One of the major signs of opioid addiction is taking the drugs for an extended period of time. These chemicals are addictive. Even if a person is being prescribed opioids by a doctor, they may be addicted and need additional medical help (possibly from another doctor!).

Once a person descends into the darkness of addict behavior, the best bet for that person is professional medical attention. The psychological effects of opiates are intense and can be very damaging to other people associated with the addict. If your loved one is addicted to opioids, seek the advice of a professional doctor or addiction counselor.

Addiction, when it becomes something that you can’t control, is a battle the person fights within themselves. Hiding, lying, stealing, and withdrawing from social environments are all signs of addiction. The physical signs can include a sudden loss of weight, and in the case of needle users, track marks on the veins of the body.

You shouldn’t try to solve this problem on your own. Click for more information that could save your loved one’s life.

Know the Signs

Drugs can save your life and cure disease. But there is a darker side of abuse and over prescription. You need to know the signs of opiate addiction in order to help the ones you love.

Check out our family toolkit or more helpful information to help your family thrive in a complex world.

About the author

Susan Paige

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