How Can You Tell if Someone is Addicted to Opioids? - Better Health Solutions

How Can You Tell if Someone is Addicted to Opioids?

How Can You Tell if Someone is Addicted to Opioids?

Opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. But how can you tell if someone is addicted to opioids versus using them appropriately to manage pain? Read on for some signs of addiction.

Physical Signs of Addiction

You can’t tell someone is addicted just by looking at them. However, there are some physical signs you can look for. And if you see them over and over they can indicate a problem.

For example, you may notice someone is drowsy almost sedated and seems confused. Pupils that are constricted can also indicate opioid use. You may also notice euphoria – a state of intense excitement. Someone who loses consciousness or has slow breathing can also be showing signs of addiction.

Another common physical sign of addiction is constipation. However, even using opioids as prescribed for legitimate reasons can cause this particular symptom.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

While physical signs can be a clue, one’s behavior can give a better picture of possible addiction. This is not about something that happens one time – rather it’s about a pattern of behavior.

A dramatic change in behavior or mood swings can be an indicator of a problem. If someone was once very outgoing and now begins to become socially isolated along with other factors you may be seeing signs of addiction.

Addiction to drugs can be an expensive problem. First you have the cost of the medications and second you may have decreased income when you’re experiencing physical symptoms and can’t work. So if you notice a big change in financial circumstances it can be a sign of addiction.

You may also notice that someone is doctor shopping. This happens when one doctor stops prescribing the addictive medications or won’t prescribe a higher dose. The addict then shops for another doctor to prescribe higher doses or just more of a medication.

While this can still happen, pharmacies are doing more to track prescriptions so that it’s harder to fill multiple prescriptions for opioids.


Withdrawal Signs

Withdrawal is another sign that someone has addiction. Even someone taking opioids as prescribed can experience physical withdrawal. And in some cases withdrawal can be dangerous. It’s important to be medically supervised when trying to stop taking opioids.

Signs of withdrawal include headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, and sleeplessness when the drug is removed from the system. It can seem like the affected person has the flu when really it’s just a result of the body withdrawing from the medication.

How to Help

Noticing that someone is addicted to opioids can be heartbreaking. You may want to help a friend or family member kick this disease. It’s nearly impossible to handle opioid addiction without professional help.

First a person must safely detox from the drugs in order to get them completely out of the system. This requires medical intervention. The next steps include therapy and long-term 12 step programs to address the psychological aspects of addiction.

It’s important not to enable an addict by helping to financially support them or provide them with the medications they’re seeking. In most cases it’s best to seek professional help in order to help someone with this serious addiction.

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