What Are the Signs of Opioid Abuse?

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There are many different substances that a person can become addicted to, from alcohol to tobacco. One of the most commonly addictive substances, and one that is so addictive it has been labeled an epidemic, are opioids. Opioids are not only notoriously addictive and some of the most difficult substances to break free of, even with help. That’s right; opioids have a higher rate of addiction and relapse for many people. This means it is even more important to recognize when you or your loved one have a problem so that you can get into treatment immediately. 

Only by understanding the nature of opioid addiction and what it looks like when someone is addicted is it possible to get them the help they need to overcome their addiction and potentially stay sober. Southern Sky Recovery is the top-rated drug rehab in Bluffton, South Carolina, and we are dedicated to getting our clients clean of their opioid addiction by using every treatment and tool we have at our disposal. 

Today we are going to talk about the signs someone is abusing opioids, why opioid abuse is so prevalent, and what to do once you realize that your loved one has a problem with opioids before it is too late. 

Why Are Opioids So Addictive? 

One thing that everyone recognizes, even if they haven’t been addicted themselves, is that opioids are highly addictive for anyone that touches them. What most people don’t understand is why are opioids so addictive

The primary reason is, like all drugs, because of the way the substance interacts with the person’s brain. There are two different concepts behind addiction, the physical aspects, and the chemical aspects. Most people start misusing a drug because they like how it makes them feel, a trait it brings out in them, or a combination of those factors. What makes a person completely addicted is the fact that, over time, the body changes in response to that substance being present. Generally, both things have to happen for a person to develop an addiction because if a person does not like the effect a drug has on them, they will not continue to use it naturally. 

For opioids, the primary chemical component that makes people addicted, even sometimes without their knowledge, is that it interacts with the reward center of the brain. By inducing a reward sensation when they take the drug, the person is more likely to want to repeat the process. The major problem is, this interferes with the reward center of the brain in such a way as to make sure the person does not get as much pleasure from other things. This makes them continue to seek out opioids for that feeling, leading to complete and total addiction.  

Opioid Abuse Signs 

If you think that your loved one may be abusing opioids, here are a few things to look for in terms of their behavior that are identifiers of opioid abuse. 

The first and most obvious sign of opioid abuse is if you catch someone taking opioids when they have no reason to. This can be taking a prescription long after they should have healed, acquiring other people’s medications, or even taking expired prescriptions. People with an addiction do not like to get themselves caught, but if they become desperate, they will resort to these types of methods to get medication. 

For people taking opioids as part of a prescription to manage pain, such as after an accident, they often become addicted to the medication without realizing it. A person can take their normal prescription and if they have to stay on it for a longer period of time, their risk of becoming addicted increases. 

You may see people engage in behaviors like taking more of the medication than they should in one dose. If this happens and it has not been authorized by a doctor to increase the dosage, then this is a clear sign someone is becoming addicted. Changing the way they take the medication, such as going from taking pills to injecting the medication is another sign of addiction. 

Other signs of opioid addiction include:

  • Distancing oneself from friends and family
  • Becoming secretive
  • Failing to partake or finding no enjoyment in activities they once enjoyed
  • Paranoia

You may also see the person start to neglect responsibilities such as showering and taking care of themselves, but this can also extend to not going to work or school, neglecting family, especially children, and turning down activities in favor of drug-seeking behavior. 

One last thing to look out for as a sign of opioid abuse is if the person starts facing financial or legal difficulties. If you notice they no longer have money or they have been arrested, this is a sign they have a serious problem and need help.

How Do I Get My Loved One Help With an Opioid Addiction? 

Getting your loved one to accept that they have an addiction and need help is one of the hardest parts of watching someone struggle with their addiction. Most people with addictions are angry and ashamed of their problem, which is why they often try to hide it, so when it comes to trying to get them to recognize the problem and get help, it is even more difficult. 

One helpful thing to do is hold an intervention, either with a professional or just with family and friends. The goal of the intervention is to remind the person that they have support around them, but also to air grievances and let them know that their addiction has hurt not only themselves but those around them as well. Letting them know the damage their addiction has caused and giving them a choice to get help or continue hurting their loved ones is a very effective way to get someone to seek treatment. 

Is Your Loved One Ready to Get Help? Contact Southern Sky Recovery Today

Once your loved one agrees that they need help, the next step is to find a rehab center with the treatment they need. As the top-rated drug rehab in South Carolina, Southern Sky Recovery is here when they need us most. 

We provide addiction treatment in Bluffton, South Carolina, and the surrounding area, and we have programs designed for opioid addiction as well as just about any other addiction or addiction-related issue you can think of. We provide each client with a one-on-one counseling session to determine their specific needs and work with them to create an individualized treatment plan. That way, they have the best chances at long-term recovery. 

Don’t wait for another second; let us and our team of expert staff members help your loved one with their opioid addiction right away. Now is the time to conquer your addiction and begin your sobriety.

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