Opioids are a class of pain relievers typically prescribed for people experiencing severe pain or after major surgeries. Prescription varieties include oxycontin, Vicodin, and oxycodone. Meanwhile, synthetic and illegal opioids also exist, such as heroin. Beyond their pain-relieving properties, opioids often produce a distinct “high” feeling in users, which means they are greatly responsible for dangerous painkiller addiction. Recognizing the signs of opiate abuse in yourself or a loved one is important to ensure timely, professional help is sought to overcome cases of painkiller addiction.
How to Recognize Signs of Opiate Abuse
Opioid use, even when following a prescription, can involve side effects like slowed breathing, constipation, nausea, confusion, and sleepiness. While they do relieve pain, it is important to understand that they are very different drugs from over-the-counter medications like Advil or Tylenol.
Above all, opioids have a much more addictive nature. When taken in high doses or abused, opioids can result in fatal overdoses. Moreover, opioids also interact negatively with other health conditions that can make even prescription use dangerous in certain cases.
The truth is that misusing or abusing opioids easily leads to dependence. One of the foremost signs of opiate abuse is experiencing withdrawal after a period of usage. The presence of withdrawal symptoms indicates the existence of physical dependence. A fine line exists between physical dependence and actual addiction. The two most common opioid withdrawal symptoms are sweating and cravings. Nonetheless, it is possible to abuse opioids and not develop dependence or display withdrawal symptoms.
Other signs of opiate abuse to watch out for include:
- Drowsiness or sudden changes in sleep habits
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent symptoms that resemble the flu
- Decreased sex drive
Those physical signs are bolstered by lifestyle signs of opiate abuse. For example, this may mean things like growing isolation or social withdrawal. Or else someone may suddenly become defensive, sneaky, and untrustworthy in uncharacteristic ways. Yet another lifestyle change that sometimes accompanies opiate abuse is financial difficulties because people use illegal means to obtain opioids.
Addressing Painkiller Addiction
Substance abuse disorders, which include painkiller addiction, can be successfully treated with an inpatient or outpatient approach. In fact, the majority of painkiller addiction treatment programs use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to facilitate a person’s journey to recovery. Three medications are used in treating opioid addiction, particularly during the withdrawal stage:
These medications work to suppress cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
The other vital aspect of most treatment programs is therapy. Addressing the underlying cause of a painkiller addiction is critical to avoiding relapse and establishing a strong footing for long-term recovery. Therefore, individual and group therapies aid patients in developing healthy coping strategies and working through mental and emotional roadblocks that influenced an addiction’s onset. In cases where a mental health disorder is present alongside a substance abuse disorder, integrated treatment with a holistic focus offers the best path forward.
Overcome Opiate Abuse with Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Georgia Addiction Treatment Center offers a dedicated addiction treatment center with a comfortable environment, expert staff, and a variety of treatment options. Furthermore, numerous amenities and community housing options ensure all individuals can access the resources and services they need to best pursue recovery. Offerings include:
- Men’s rehab
- Women’s rehab
- Partial hospitalization program
- Inpatient program
- Outpatient program
- Intensive outpatient program
Every program centers around four essential components: aftercare planning, case management, a safe environment that promotes sobriety, and relapse prevention. Moreover, each client can take advantage of wellness services that include exercise and fitness classes, nutritional education, and meal planning.
Your healing starts today when you call 855.952.3546.