Signs Of Opiate Addiction

2011
04.15

Signs of Opiate Addiction

As expected, there are signs of opiate addiction, and these will be examined in this article. Since these are not positive behaviors, addicts will tend to hide their addiction, though without success in most cases.

Opiate Addiction

Opiates are narcotic drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. As such, they are pain relievers and they tend to have a calming effect on their users. Prolonged use, or a wrong dosage, however, can lead to a dependence on the drugs, which is where the problems start.

Sometimes the persons addicted to the drugs do not realize that they are addicted, and if they do they may not be willing to admit that there is a drug problem. They usually think they have the usage under control, or worse, that they are able to quit whenever they wish, not realizing that they are hooked. Onlookers are therefore the ones who need to be observant enough to determine whether the addicts are behaving as if they need to have the opiate every day or more often than that. Also, whether the opiate is necessary for normal functioning, so that there has to be a steady supply available, and whether the addicts are willing to do dangerous feats while on the drug.

It is usual for observers of addiction to have to determine, for example, whether the addicts’ appearance has changed because they no longer care how they look, whether they are eating proper meals and are either gaining or losing weight inexplicably, whether their faces are puffy, eyes red, and pupils dilated, whether their hands are sweaty and cold and they have the shakes, whether needle marks have appeared on their arms or legs and their clothing and breath have an unfamiliar odor, whether they have become lazy or are hyperactive, talking very fast and slurring their words.

Some of the physical symptoms of opiate addiction include slurred speech, poor coordination, extreme fatigue affecting consciousness, frequent use of laxatives, itching and scratching, needle marks, small pupils, heavy sweating, and energetic bursts preceding sudden and extreme fatigue. There are also other signs like bent and burned spoons, deterioration in school or work performance, unexplained money problems, disappearance of household items, and the sale of personal items. Even if drugs are medically prescribed addiction can still develop and addicts may attempt to hide pills, search for additional doctors, or place orders online for extra pills.

Some classic symptoms are said to be mood swings, broken relationships between family members and friends, a total lack of concern for anyone else, habitual lying, abusive behavior, and unwillingness to get treated.

Teenagers can also be addicts, and caregivers need to be able to recognize the signs of addiction. Warning signs include the teen suddenly disliking school and looking for reasons to stay away from school. Their grades may also drop because they are skipping classes. They may also lose interest in their grooming, not caring how they look. A personality change, or a change in the group with which they mingle, insistence on their ‘right’ to privacy to the extent of withholding important information, and a sudden urgent request for money without a reasonable explanation for needing it, are all red flags.

It is also usual for the addiction and depression to occur at the same time since the one can lead to the other, in no particular order. The interesting fact is that they both have similar symptoms, like losing interest in activities they previously enjoyed, or even in friends and family members. There may also be a loss of interest in hobbies, work, and even sex. In addition, the addicts’ sleeping habits may change, so that they sleep too little or too much, they may be irritable or restless, and have difficulty focusing on tasks.

Opiate AddictionOpiate addiction can and needs to be treated. Treatment may involve cognitive and behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication. Counseling and a change of behavior are involved, along with cognitive therapy which supports a therapist assisting a patient to change the distorted attitudes and thoughts which caused the emotional problems preceding addiction. There are many other treatments available, including the Waismann Detox program which successfully cleanses patients while under anesthesia.

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