12 Key Signs of Opioid Addiction
Drug addiction categorized as a brain disease that involves compulsive drug seeking and consumption, even when the harmful consequences are known. Drugs such as opioids tend to alter the brain’s structure and the way it works. If drug abuse is continued for a long time, these changes can also be long term. Addiction mostly begins with prescription of an opioid pain-reliever. As the tolerance for pain-reliever increases, patients tend to increase the dosage and get addicted to the effect of euphoria it induces. Other reasons are peer pressure, bad company, and easily available inexpensive drugs. Sooner or later, addicts start to show symptoms of opioid abuse and should consider seeking treatment. The ultimate fatality caused by drug abuse is overdose, which can also lead to death. Hence immediate medical care is necessary when a person overdoses on a drug.
The opioid abuse signs can be of physical and social nature. Drug addiction deprives a person of their health and also changes their social behaviour.
The physical signs of opioid abuse are:
- Altered sleeping habits – The person might sleep more than usual or develop insomnia
- Drowsiness – Nodding off unexpectedly becomes usual
- Frequently appearing flu-like symptoms – Nausea, fever, headache and other flu-like symptoms start to appear
- Sudden and drastic weight loss – A change in metabolism can cause drastic weight loss and the person can become skinny and even look malnourished
- Reduced energy levels – Experiencing tiredness without much physical activity
- Disinterest and incapability towards physical activities – Addicts stop exercising and do not participate in physical activities
- Personal Hygiene goes for a toss – Drug addicts seem to care less and less about their hygiene and avoid things like shaving, haircuts etc.
- Diminished sex-drive – Changing testosterone and estrogen levels reduces sex drive among addicts
Social signs of opioid abuse are:
- Mismanaged work routines – Showing up at work late, or missing work regularly
- Changing dynamics in relationships – Spending less time or completely avoiding with friends and family who earlier used to be close
- Erratic spending of funds – Increasing credit card bills and excessive spending towards buying drugs
- Stealing things to support addiction – When addicts run out of money to buy drugs, they tend to steal cash or things to pawn in exchange for cash