Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction is one of the most common addictions among American residents today. With the increasing amount of individuals engaging in opioid abuse and the alarmingly concerning amount of opioid-related overdoses and fatalities, the need for opioid addiction treatment is at an all-time high. When you are concerned about loved ones who may be engaging in opioid abuse or if you are worried about your own use of opioids and if your use of opioids has progressed into opioid addiction, you will want to know the signs and symptoms to be mindful of to indicate when it is time to address your opioid addiction within an addiction treatment program.
Common signs and symptoms of opioid addiction are:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of motivation
- Significant weight loss
- Joint or muscle aches or pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated from friends and family
- Loss of interest or passion for activities or hobbies that once brought you joy
- Experiencing financial difficulties due to use
- Engaging in high-risk behavior such as criminal activity or stealing from loved ones to fund your drug addiction
- Extreme mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
- Distorted view or perception of reality
How Opioid Addiction Develops
Opioid addiction can occur in anyone for a number of reasons. However, there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing an opioid addiction including:
Individuals that have a family history of addiction have a genetic predisposition to developing an opioid addiction Research has shown that individuals who have family members that have lived with active opioid addiction are more likely to develop an addiction themselves compared to those who did not have a family history of addiction.
There may be some individuals who do not have the ability to produce enough endorphins within their brain which then impacts their moods and ability to regulate emotions. This can lead to a chemical imbalance that can be challenging to manage for some which, in turn, leads some individuals to turn to opioid abuse as a method to treat the chemical imbalance.
Individuals may begin their use of opioids as a method of pain management but due to the escape it provides from negative emotions, the euphoria it provides, and relief from anxiety, many become addicted to the feelings it initially gives and begin to feel that they cannot function without the use of opioids even if there are no physical dependencies occurring.
If you have been exposed to opioid use whether it be with your parents growing up or within a social circle, research has shown that you will be more likely to develop an addiction to opioids. This is especially true if you were exposed to drug addiction from a young age as it becomes normalized to you and creates a thought process that it is normal to manage triggers or stressors in life through the use of alcohol or drugs.
Short and Long Term Effects of Opioid Addiction
The use of opioids can create negative consequences and impacts on various aspects of a person’s life. Some short term effects that opioid abuse may have on your life are:
- Insomnia or difficulty with regular sleeping patterns
- Experiencing difficulty within your employment performance
- Problems within your school performance and academic success
- Respiratory depression
- Paranoid behavior
Long term effects of opioid abuse are:
- Financial difficulties or constraints
- Pulmonary complications
- Heart infections
- Collapsed veins
- Permanent damage to organs such as liver, kidney, and lung damage
- A decline in mental health can lead to needing psychiatric care within a mental health unit in the hospital
- Increased risk for suicide
How to Help an Opioid Addict
If you or a loved one are experiencing an addiction to opiates, you want to do whatever you can to support them in overcoming their abuse and addiction to opioids. Inviting your loved ones to an addiction treatment center to address their physical and mental addiction to opioids with the support of addiction therapists and medical professionals.
Patients will first go through an opioid detox to remove the physical signs of opioid abuse through a medically supervised detox program. Once you have successfully and safely moved through your withdrawal symptoms, you will be able to transition into inpatient rehab for treatment for opioid addiction. This will focus on gaining perspective on the root causes of your opioid addiction and healing from them with the support of addiction therapies including dual diagnosis treatment, medication assisted treatment and behavioral therapies. Inpatient rehab will help you develop the tools you need to live a clean and sober life and overcome any future triggers while remaining true to your goal of living in sobriety.
— Serenity Oaks (@Serenity_Oaks_) April 29, 2022