Opioids are often a necessary element to treatments, especially for those who have undergone invasive surgeries or have painful conditions. However, opioids are an extremely addictive drug type, and even the most responsible of patients can fall into dependence and addiction. This is becoming a problem of increasing prevalence in America, and there are no signs of it going away anytime soon. Here are 5 signs that routine prescription use is turning into abusive use.
- Finishing Pills too Early
This may be one of the first signs of an opioid addiction problem. If you notice yourself or someone that you know finishing a prescription before the end date or asking for refills more frequently, then that is a sure sign that a problem with controlling opioid intake is beginning. It is a good idea to consult with your doctor about this when noticed, because addiction when spotted in the early stages can be treated more smoothly and possibly without rehab. Other troubling symptoms stated later may also be avoidable.
- Noticing More Withdrawal Symptoms
Experiencing new or more intense withdrawal symptoms is also a possible sign of opioid addiction. Severe withdrawal symptoms are often linked to a greater opioid dependence. If this is becoming a problem then it is important to report it to a healthcare professional as symptoms during this kind of drug detox can be life threatening. Going to a drug rehab facility may be necessary.
- Changes in Daily Life
Having newfound changes in your daily life while taking prescription opioid medication is another sign of addictive behavior. These changes can include but are not limited to: problems occuring at work where there weren’t any previously, newly strained relationships, and having the feeling of being isolated from family and friends. Although these are often symptoms of opioid abuse, this on its own does not necessarily mean that there is an addiction problem. These can also be signs of other issues such as depression, which is not uncommon in patients experiencing prolonged amounts of pain. Therapy can help with these feelings whether rehab is needed or not, however.
- Buying From Outside Sources
Having to turn to outside sources to obtain enough opioids is a huge red flag for addiction. This is also a common way for opioid abuse to worsen or for new drugs such as heroin to be introduced. If this is noticed it is important for the individual to be referred to a drug rehab center and undergo a detox, as the threat of an overdose or experiencing dangerous withdrawal symptoms often increases with this behavior.
- New Financial Problems
This usually occurs after purchasing opioids from a dealer. The addict may begin asking others for money where they hadn’t before, or they may ask for money more often. Stealing can also become a problem if the situation becomes desperate enough. Like purchasing opioids from outside sources, this is a clear sign that changes need to be made, and that the drug abuse may be heading down a very dangerous road.
If all, some, or even just one of the above situations are experienced by you or someone that you know, then that is a clear sign that changes need to be made to protect the opioid prescription holder. It may be surprising how much a small change in someone’s life can affect them and those around them. Whether this change is going to rehab, going through therapy, or even just changing medications this difference can greatly improve an opioid user’s quality of life, and the consequences of an overdose or deadly withdrawal symptoms can be prevented.