They might be drugs taken for a surgery scar that never seems to heal. They might be medicine taken for chronic headaches or back pain that never completely goes away.
Regardless of what these opioids were prescribed to alleviate, the result is the same—opioid addiction. Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be devastating, and induce serious strain on their relationship with you, and everyone around them.
However, recognizing that struggle is the first step in helping them recover. And, by consulting a KentuckyCare addiction treatment center, you and your loved one can get the care they need. Our trained specialists are here to support you both throughout the recovery process.
To help you help your loved one, we wrote this article to take you through the information you need to recognize an opioid addiction, and how to find an addiction treatment center near you.
What Is an Opioid Addiction?
Like any other addiction, an opioid addiction is a compulsive urge to take an opioid, a substance often prescribed for pain relief. Even when they are used as prescribed, one can get addicted to the opioids, and continue to take them long after their pain goes away.
Opioid Addiction Signals
If your friend or family member is taking the medicine after the prescription has expired, or medicating in a way that does not match the prescription given to them, this can mean that he or she is addicted.
If the person is taking opioids that were prescribed to someone else, even if it was as a prescription medication, that can also indicate an addiction.
If he or she is simply taking the opioid medication recreationally, this is definitely a sign of an addiction.
Misuse of an opioid can also mean taking the medication not as directed. This means that the person is altering the opioid and administering it in a way that was not prescribed.
The following are ways in which a person can misuse prescribed medication:
- Crushing pills
- Opening capsules
- Dissolving the powder in water
- Injecting into a vein
- Snorting the powder
These are all signs of possible opioid addiction.
The signals listed so far assume that your friend or loved one is open enough to display this kind of overt misuse of medication. However, a person who gets addicted to opioids is less likely to be as pronounced in their drug abuse. However, there are four signals that are hard to hide when struggling with an opioid addiction. Keep an eye out for them, and you could help prevent your friend or loved one before their addiction becomes even harder to control.
1. Psychological Changes
Marking changes in your loved one’s normal behavior can help you recognize several signs of addiction.
If you notice your loved one experiencing abrupt mood swings, increased anxiety or anxiety attacks, instant increases of euphoria or raised levels of depression, a possible spike in irritability, or an overall lowered amount of motivation, these could all be signs of opioid addiction.
2. Behavioral Changes
If you notice your loved one no longer interested in the hobbies that they once enjoyed, this could indicate an opioid addiction.
Whether they are recreational functions or important responsibilities, an abandonment of activities can be a surefire sign that your loved one has a problem.
You also might notice changes of certain habits or mannerisms, neglect in responsibilities, and an overall increase of secretive or uncommon behavior.
3. Physical Changes
Although these changes might appear later on in an addiction, you might be able to catch or notice these signs at their early stages.
Physical symptoms or changes you should look out for include…
- An increase or decrease in energy
- A decrease in appetite
- Excessive nausea
- Abnormal breathing
- Lack of coordination
4. An Increase Use or Abuse of Other Drugs
If the person in question has never taken an interest in consuming alcohol or other substances before, a sudden increase in use can be an alarming signal for an opioid addiction.
An increase in the amount of pain medication, or other types of medication, can be a sign, as well. If your loved one has started to take their opioid before they feel pain, this can be a tell-tale sign that it is time to intervene.
Finding a Drug Center in Kentucky
If you have noticed any of these signs and would like to reach out for help for your loved one, connect with any of the addiction treatment centers in Kentucky provided by KentuckyCare.
Make an appointment with us today, and let our professional, committed staff help you and your loved one battle this addiction together.