Addiction is a disease where individuals have had their brain chemistry altered due to repeated use of a substance. This change makes the individual dependent upon the substance abused to function in a normal manner. In the case of opioid addiction, the condition is usually caused by the abuse of prescription opioids. Insight Recovery Center understands that recognizing the signs of opioid addiction can be the first step in finding the right treatment to address and overcome dependency. Supporting individuals struggling with addiction and helping them heal from the disease is our fundamental goal. Therefore, it’s important to know what opioid addiction looks like.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids interact with receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. Typically, opioids are used to manage pain. However, because they produce euphoria, they are frequently abused. Individuals abusing opioids often take the drug differently than it’s intended, such as crushing up opioids in pill form to make a solution to snort or inject. Perhaps the most common type of opioid abuse consists of taking a larger quantity than prescribed for a longer time than recommended. Because opioids are so potent, even when individuals follow their doctor’s instructions, they can develop an opioid addiction.
Some common prescription opioids include:
- Oxycodone (brands like Percodan, Percocet, OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxymorphone (Opana)
There are also illegal opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, which is only prescribed as pain management for terminally ill patients.
Signs of Opioid Addiction
It can be difficult to identify the signs of opioid addiction. Because opioid withdrawal and addiction can look a lot like symptoms of the flu, many who are dependent can hide their addiction. Similarly, it can be months before an individual may realize they have an addiction for the same reasons. Thus, it’s vital to be aware of the signs of opioid addiction and what common withdrawal symptoms look like. Some can include:
- An increased obsession with acquiring opioids
- Sudden disinterest or withdrawal from routine, activities, or friends/family
- Drastic changes in appetite
- Wild and unexplained mood swings or behavioral changes
- Sleep issues like insomnia or excessive tiredness
- Possession of drug-related paraphernalia
- A decline in self-care and appearance
- Ignoring responsibilities at home, work, or school
When an individual shows one or more of these signs for an extended period, such as a few weeks, they are likely to need opioid addiction treatment.
There are also a variety of withdrawal symptoms common to opioid abuse. Depending on the individual and the kind of opioid being abused, symptoms may vary as well as their intensity. However, some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Gastrointestinal problems (stomach and digestion issues)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
Also, opioid addiction makes any emotional or mental health issues more difficult to deal with. Often, individuals dealing with depressive disorders or anxiety disorders will find opioid addiction deepens their troubles and issues. This is why dual diagnosis for such co-occurring conditions is necessary.
Insight Recovery Center
Learning to identify the stages of addiction is the key to getting the right treatment for substance use disorder. At Insight Recovery Center, our experienced and compassionate counselors and therapists use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help clients address, cope with, and ultimately overcome their addiction. Our addiction therapy treatment uses approaches such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Harm reduction
- Trauma-informed care
- Dual diagnosis treatment
By having all of these options and others available, we can craft a customized treatment plan to meet each client’s unique needs. So reach out to us today at 703.592.6946 to learn more. Now is the time to find help and return yourself to full health.