When an individual frequently uses a drug like heroin or morphine, they may begin to show signs of opiate abuse. Opiates are sought for the high they bring, but since they are also used as medical painkillers and depressants, opiate abuse signs mimic the effects of sedatives. Opiates have serious long-term consequences for those who abuse them. If a friend or loved one shows the symptoms of opiate abuse, speak to a counselor or seek the help of a medical professional right away.
Signs of Opiate Abuse
There are many different physical signs of opiate abuse. One common indication is slowed breathing, often accompanied by drowsiness. Opiate users may have trouble staying awake and may experience confusion or difficulty thinking. Individuals may display a heightened tolerance to pain or the inability to feel any pain at all. They may have trouble speaking clearly and may suffer from constipation. These signs of opiate abuse can occur several times in a day, depending on how frequently the individual uses an opiate.
Symptoms of opiate abuse also manifest in behavior, although these signs can vary according to the specific opiate being abused. If they are abusing a prescription drug, such as Vicodin, users may engage in “doctor shopping,” obtaining several different prescriptions for the drug from different doctors. Pill bottles from different pharmacies may be hidden in the trash or stored covertly around the home. Users may withdraw from social activities and interests, display a lack of care about their physical health and appearance, and develop financial problems. During periods of withdrawal from opiate abuse, symptoms can mimic a cold or flu, manifesting as headaches, general body fatigue, nausea, and feelings of anxiety.
What to Do
When it comes to opiate abuse, signs should never be ignored or downplayed. What may have begun as a one-time “experiment” or a genuine medical prescription could develop into dependence or a severe addiction. The physical signs of opiate abuse can progress to the point where they have a negative impact on daily life, and if left unchecked, they may become permanent physical ailments. Opiate abuse symptoms are the red flag that indicates that treatment is needed. Fortunately, finding help for yourself or for a loved one is as simple as making the decision to reach out.
There are many alternative rehab programs that offer highly trained, cost-effective care and management of the recovery process. At BetterAddictionCare, we are committed to finding the best program for you. You can start healing with a rehab program specially customized to manage the specific withdrawal symptoms of opiate abuse for a safe, comfortable journey to wellness. Get help now: Fill out our contact form to be put in touch with addiction counseling near you.