It’s never easy to tell if someone you love is hurting from opioid addiction. Even as the person closest to them, it can be hard for a family member or friend trying not only to keep an eye on things but also stop any potential harm before it’s too late. But even though what may seem like little changes could mean so much in diagnosis and recovery times!
Unfortunately, we are now at the point in time where more people than ever before are addicted to opioids for all sorts of different reasons. Recent studies have found that one-third of people taking opioids for chronic pain misuses them, while 10% eventually become addicted over time if they take it not as prescribed or continuously use these drugs without interruption. There is still hope, with the rise of awareness there are now more opiate treatment options tailored towards an individual’s needs.
In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses.Drugabuse.gov
Tolerance Growing Every Day:
We live in a world where people’s tolerance for different things has been growing every day, and this means that more people are finding themselves with substance addictions. These things can be pretty easy to spot, as many signs often go unnoticed by the average person.
Top Warning Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse
Rapid Weight Loss :
One of the first signs of opioid abuse that you should be on the lookout for is noticeable physical changes in the patient. Any of the many signs of opioid abuse should be a warning sign that something isn’t quite right. For example, if the person suffering from opioid abuse starts to lose weight quite rapidly, and if they cannot get off the medication or are losing a considerable amount of weight. It is quite possible that they are suffering from some medical problem and that their body is not coping with the opioid abuse.
Related Post: 3 Facts About Benzo Addiction and Abuse
Mental Signs like Depression and Anxiety:
Another one of the signs of abuse that you should be on the lookout for is mental signs. Sometimes, people will begin to have a noticeable change in the way that they think and feel. For instance, some people may become depressed quite rapidly after an episode of abuse. Other people will find that they start to have panic attacks, or other mood disorders more frequently. Regardless of what type of mental changes are faced, it is essential to realize that the strain of the abuse is probably causing them.
Lack of Hygiene
No desire to maintain oneself and lowered motivation. With a low energy level, they may feel less interested in putting any effort into their personal appearance or taking care of themself. Less interest in bathing, changing clothes, or brushing their teeth.
Daily Routines Changed:
Abandoning responsibility, poor decision-making, noticing withdrawal from daily activities. Another common sign is that the individual will experience a noticeable decrease in the number of things they like to do. The person will also experience things such as constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting. That being said, they may want to spend increased time alone.
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Change in Behavior and Sleeping Patterns:
Changes in behavior are common when a person is suffering from addiction. They may exhibit unusual changes in their sleeping or eating patterns, have increased anxiety or depression, or exhibit risky sexual behaviors. Changes in work or school attendance may also be signs of addiction. Other physical symptoms of addiction include restlessness or insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, frequent urination, nausea, and fever.
Effects on Central Nervous System:
Opioid addiction affects many areas of the central nervous system, including the reward pathway, which is involved in expressing certain behaviors. The reward pathway regulates such behaviors as gambling, eating, drinking, and other voluntary behaviors. This pathway affects the mesolimbic reward pathway in the brain, which directly connects the striatum and the Naccarello parts of the prefrontal cortex.
Change in the Chemistry of the Body:
The signs of opioid addiction will also include changes in the chemistry of their body. An individual suffering from opioid addiction will exhibit lower counts of the opioid receptors in their brain. Opioid receptors are chemicals located in the brain which interact with opioids to create a sense of well-being. If the amount of opioids consumed is enough to deplete the levels of the opioid receptors in the brain, the individual will experience many physical symptoms as well. Some of these symptoms include slurred speech, shaking, sweating, and nausea.
Opioid addiction can cause thermo-sensitivity, or the ability of the cells to warm themselves up after being stimulated with pain or brain injury. This ability of the neurons to change their firing rates can connect to several diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, depression, and chronic pain syndromes. The thermo-sensitivity of neurons also increases during periods of stress and protects from infections when the immune system is low.
The Signs of Opioid Abuse Should Not be Ignored
If you or someone you love is showing any signs of opioid addiction, you must seek medical help as quickly as possible. These signs can signal a severe problem with the individual’s mental health and need professional medical care. Symptoms of opioid addiction do not always mean that the individual is suffering from an actual physical illness. Many individuals who exhibit these signs of addiction are mentally unstable and require professional help.
Opioid addiction is not a weakness, it’s a disease.
Living with Opioid Use Disorder can leave people feeling trapped in their own lives because opioids hijack the brain and change how we normally function. Knowing why quitting is so hard – helps people decide to consider treatment for this terrible disease.
Quitting is hard, but knowing why it’s so important to quit can help when you’re ready. Learn how opioid addiction treatment works!
It’s time to take a BOLD step and take your life back, once and for all.
If you’re looking for opiate treatment in San Diego, we’re here for you and are ready to help you or a loved one walk through the process of self-discovery and healing. Contact us by calling 760-503-4703 or filling out our brief contact form.