Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

As more and more people suffer from opioid addiction, observable patterns have emerged. These signs might be seen in oneself, or in a loved one taking opioids.

Psychological symptoms and mood disorders of opioid addiction:

Symptoms of Opioid Addiction• Increased anxiety without any identifiable cause
• Anxiety attacks
• Euphoria, that is, a feeling of happiness and well-being
• Psychosis, that is, thoughts and perceptions that don’t match reality, such as a person becoming paranoid or thinking they have superhuman powers
• Improved self-esteem, acting proud, or more outgoing than usual
• Depression
• Irritability
• A lack of motivation

Behavioral symptoms of opioid addiction:

• Opioids are used for longer or at a greater amount than intended
• Unsuccessful attempts to decrease the amount of opioids taken
• Large amount of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from using the drug
• Dishonest attempts to get the drug, such as lying about pain, going to different doctors and hospitals, and so on
• Doing poorly in or abandoning completely the person’s usual (important) activities, such as work, school, participation in family life, and so on

Physical symptoms of opioid addiction:

• Improved alertness
• Increased sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste and touch
• Redness in the face
• Increased heart rate
• High blood pressure
• Increased energy
• A loss of appetite
• Increased sexual arousal and intensity of sexual experience
• Nervousness, agitation, fidgeting
• Trouble sleeping, insomnia
• Feeling very alert
• Being very aware of things, such as a noise most people wouldn’t notice

Misuse of the drugs

In some cases, addicts will use pills intravenously for a quicker and more extreme high by grinding them up, adding water, and injecting the solution. This can lead to heart issues, damage, cardiac infections, and blood clots in the lungs. It can also cause infection at the injection site. This can cause the flesh to rot and become gangrenous. It can also trigger severe blood infections, which can be fatal.

Those who share needs are more prone to viral hepatitis and HIV. These infections are usually associated with heroin addicts, but have become increasingly common amongst those who use intravenous oxymorphone.

Co-occurring Disorders

Opioid addiction can often be accompanied by certain habits and/or another addictive disorder. The most common include:

• Tobacco use
• Alcohol abuse
• Cannabis abuse
• Stimulant abuse
• Benzodiazepine abuse

Addicts will often suffer from certain health issues:

• Depression
• Persistent low-level depression
• Generalized anxiety
• Insomnia
• Antisocial Personality Disorder
• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• A history of behavioral problems in childhood or adolescence

Dangerous interactions with other drugs

The above co-disorders and health conditions can put opioid addicts at serious risk. Opioids and alcohol are a dangerous mix that should always be avoided. Other noted interaction that can be potentially fatal include antipsychotics, HIV antivirals, and even certain antibiotics

The most dangerous are the mood-altering drugs benzodiazepines (Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Diastat, Valium, Ativan, Restoril, Halcion). In combination, they can lead to respiratory failure and death.

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This detailed table will give you an idea of how many drugs can interact, even ones that opioids are often mixed with, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. (The opioids are listed in the other category on this page.) Note that taking opioids with grapefruit juice can also be dangerous.

Spotting Addiction In A Loved One

The addict often has no idea there is any problem, until a loved one, friend or even employer calls them out on what they have observed. In some people, it might be hard to tell unhealthy drug use from normal moodiness, but some signs to watch out for include:

Problems at school or work:

• Missing school or work
• A sudden loss of interest in what they would normally do
• A drop in grades
• A noticeable lowering of work performance
• A lack of motivation
• Lost productivity
• Missed deadlines
• A listless attitude
• Procrastination
• Spending time on unknown tasks
• Not knowing where the person is

Physical issues:

• Lack of energy
• Noticeable tiredness
• Weight loss or gain
• Red eyes
• Pinpoint pupils

Poor appearance:

• A lack of grooming, such as unwashed hair, lack of shaving
• Lack of showering/bathing, body odor
• Lack of interest in clothing, dirty or torn clothes, wearing the same thing all the time

Changes in behavior:

• Being secretive
• Mood swings
• Unexplained absences
• Moodiness
• Irritability
• Trouble getting along with others
• Changing from “easy-going” to highly-strung
• Extreme changes in what were normally good relationships

Money problems:

• Always being broke
• Having trouble paying the bills
• Going without food because they have little money
• Sudden requests for money without any reasonable explanation
• Money missing or stolen
• Valuables missing or stolen from the home
• Valuables suddenly turning up in the home, which might be stolen property

Other signs to look out for:

• Large numbers of pill bottles in the house
• Large amounts of cough syrup
• Large amounts of over the counter cold and flu remedies

If a person sees these signs in a loved one, they should document them and seek professional advice. There are good and bad ways to call out a person for their addictive behavior.

Chances are they might actually realize themselves that their opioid use has become a problem, but unfortunately, opioid addiction is not that easy to overcome. Let’s look next at some of the reasons why this is the case.

Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

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Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

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