Opioid addiction has become an epidemic throughout the United States, and it isn’t limited to any particular age, sex, race, or socioeconomic status. Unlike many other drugs, opioid use often begins with a doctor’s approval; certain opioids are prescribed legally for pain management. Healthcare providers have been warned to be more cautious with the provision of these potentially dangerous substances. In addition, the public is becoming more educated on the signs of opioid addiction as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the epidemic a public health crisis in 2017. By recognizing the following signs early, a person could save their own life or the life of a loved one.
Initial symptoms that can be observed in opioid addiction include behavioral changes. Individuals struggling with addiction may become more withdrawn from friends and family and have a difficult time keeping a job or staying in school. They may begin to frequent doctors’ offices more often or jump around between healthcare providers, often lying about their pain to receive more medication.
Certain signs of opioid abuse can be observed physically, as well. HealthGuide.org International reported that people often find their loved ones feel overly tired or “spaced out” for extended periods of time. Other indicators of opioid abuse can include sudden changes in an individual’s weight and pupil size. The individual may also appear to be suffering from chronic gastrointestinal concerns, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Visible sores or scabs may be indicative of intravenous opioid use.
Serious psychological effects often accompany opioid abuse, as well. Individuals may notice that they or their loved one is feeling increasingly irritable, aggressive, depressed, or paranoid. Concentrating, making reasonable decisions, or processing and addressing problems may become more difficult or feel impossible at times. Being out of touch with reality can make it difficult for the individual to recognize symptoms of addiction and communicate it to friends or family.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from opioid addiction, you’re not alone. Alpha Care Medical in Harrington, DE provides treatment and resources to help patients overcome addiction and lead happy, healthy lives. Give us a call today at (800) 818-8680 to speak with an experienced professional about the steps to recovery.