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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?

The opioid crisis is a significant national crisis that affects mental and physical public health and social and economic welfare. In fact, over 130 people overdose and die from opioids every day.

In the late 1990s, when some of these opioids were first introduced, pharmaceutical companies assured healthcare professionals that patients would not become addicted to these pain relievers. As a result, a serious crisis began to develop where the drugs were being misused and overused.

In 2017 alone, over 47,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. While the country is hard at work to diffuse this terrible epidemic, individuals and families everywhere have been affected by opioid addiction.

So what are the signs of opioid addiction? Keep reading to find out how you can recognize if someone you know or love may have an addiction.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids consist of a class of drugs that include heroin, which is illegal. They also include a number of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Furthermore, they also include pain relievers that are only available by prescription, such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone (sometimes known as Vicodin).

These painkillers are typically prescribed for injuries due to sports or other major injuries from accidents like car accidents or work accidents.

Some of the side effects of using opioids are as follows:

  • Sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucination
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweats

Some of the more serious side effects, which require medical attention, include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Urinary retention
  • Delirium

Opioids are serious drugs but unfortunately are misused a lot of the time. In fact, many users and addicts do not have prescriptions but buy opioids illegally.

What Signs Should You Look For?

What is opioid addiction? Opioid addiction is a long-lasting disease. Using opioids initially can leave an individual with a very powerful urge to continue to use the drugs they’ve been prescribed, even if they are no longer needed.

They change the chemical balance in the brain so that an individual truly believes that they absolutely need more of the drug. It can go so far that addicts will put acquiring more drugs ahead of other important and essential aspects of their lives.

Some of the symptoms and signs of opioid addiction you should look are:

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Constipation
  • Physical agitation
  • Poor decision making
  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lowered motivation
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Respiratory depression (shallow and short breathing)
  • Track marks on skin or fresh puncture wounds
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent nose bleeds (if heroin is snorted)

If someone close to you is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s essential that you help a loved one seek addiction treatment.

What Should You Do If You Notice Signs of Opioid Addiction?

Many people assume that using drugs is a choice for addicts and that they are weak if they can’t stop themselves.

This is simply not true. Opioid addiction is a serious disease that requires medical, and often, psychological help.

If someone close to you is showing signs of opioid addiction, the best thing you can do for them is to support them by getting them help. It’s the only way for them to fight their addiction and move forward towards living a better life.

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