Telltale Addiction Symptoms of Opiates

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Addiction Symptoms of Opiates You Should Know

People become addicted to drugs either through dependence on a prescription drug or by experimenting with illegal drugs in a social setting of their peers. Addiction symptoms to opiates are easy to recognize. Most people know something is wrong with their friend or family member even if they don’t suspect drugs.

Addiction Symptoms

There are many physical and social symptoms of addictions, and they appear rather quickly. Social symptoms include having difficulty with personal and romantic relationships. Because of the secretive nature of addiction, the user often avoids spending time with people who may notice things are not right. Addiction symptoms are very noticeable after a while and hard to hide when the user spends time with family and friends. Some social symptoms include the following:

  • Missing school frequently
  • Failing grades
  • No interest in school activities
  • Often late for work or calling in sick
  • Blaming other people for your failures on the job
  • Not meeting your responsibilities at work
  • Getting a warning or getting fired
  • Lack of interest in personal appearance
  • Financial problems
  • Stealing
  • Lying

Physical addiction symptoms include the following classic signs of opiate addiction:

  • Fatigue – Sleeping a lot
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Constricted pupils
  • Seem confused sometimes
  • Regularly constipation
  • Agitation
  • Aggressiveness

When the user is unable to get the drugs, you will notice the start of withdrawal symptoms. Opiates side effects from withdrawal can include headaches, anxiety, fatigue, sweating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and insomnia. The unpleasantness of the withdrawal symptoms is often the instigator for illegal activities such as doctor shopping for prescriptions and stealing.

Opiates Side Effects

Some people get addicted to their pain killers without even realizing it. It happens when the prescribed dose of medication doesn’t seem to be working anymore. The user doesn’t realize he or she has become tolerant to the prescription level of the drug until more is needed to get the same comfortable feeling. The opiate side effects cause the user to try anything to get more of the drug. Users are usually too embarrassed to tell their doctor they have become dependent, or they have already been told the prescription won’t be refilled. Stealing, lying, doctor shopping (to get a new prescription), and buying illegal drugs on the street are too often the sources users resort to. Unfortunately, some users will get talked into trying heroin, which is illegal. The user could wind up in jail or dead. Many times heroin has other drugs added to it that makes it deadly.

Long-Term Effects and Classic Signs of Opiate Addiction

In addition to the classic signs of opiate addiction, there are long-term and serious opiates side effects. Many of these cause health problems that are permanent. Some can be relieved if the user goes through detoxification at an addiction treatment center. Some of the long-term effects include:

  • Dependence on the drug
  • Bloating and abdominal distention
  • Liver damage (very prevalent if opiates are combined with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol with codeine)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Tolerance development
  • Brain damage from hypoxia cause by respiratory depression

Fortunately there are professional addiction treatment centers where people who are addicted can go through detox in a controlled and safe setting. They will also receive therapy and counseling sessions to help adjust back in a normal life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids you can find help with a simple phone call. Professional counselors will assist you with locating an addiction treatment center close to where you live.