Anyone who uses opioids for acute, moderate or severe pain relief is at risk of becoming addicted to them. This is because opioids alter the way the brain works, releasing “feel good” hormones and giving the user a “high” feeling. Continuous use of opioids for a long time can cause the brain to depend on the release of these “feel good” chemicals daily. When a person with an opioid addiction doesn’t take the drugs, they may feel intense cravings for opioids and painful withdrawal symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction?
It’s not always easy to determine when a person is misusing opioid medication, particularly when they were prescribed the medication by a doctor. The following are behavioral and mental signs of opioid addiction that you can easily observe in yourself or someone you care for:
- Strange elation or euphoria: The dopamine released by opioid medication can make the user feel high for several hours after the drug has been taken and make the person crave more.
- Sudden, dramatic mood swings: A user may experience rapid mood swings from a very positive, highly motivated attitude to one in which the person feels depressed and can’t see any reason to make an effort to succeed.
- Isolation: One of the early signs of opioid addiction is a constant desire to be alone. The person may stop enjoying social events and want to stay in solitude for most hours of the day.
- Dishonesty and secrecy: A person with an opioid addiction will try to shield personal activities from friends and family members. They won’t want others to know that they’re taking more of their opioid medication than prescribed.
- Sudden financial problems: To keep up with cravings for more opioids, an individual may suddenly start borrowing money, go into debt or even steal money to finance their opioid misuse.
- Issues with work and family: Due to mood swings, cravings for opioids and a desire for secrecy, a person with an opioid addiction may struggle to cope with normal daily activities at home and work.
- Legal issues: Someone with an opioid addiction may end up committing crimes such as driving under the influence of drugs, or they may make decisions that lead to arrests because the addiction has hindered their judgment.
- Not keeping commitments: Preoccupation with taking opioids and chasing the euphoric feeling they provide can make a person forget that they have to keep their obligations at home or work.
- Taking more medication than prescribed: To reduce cravings and avoid painful withdrawal symptoms, a person with an opioid addiction may start taking more medication than prescribed every day.
- Visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions: To access extra opioids through a physician’s prescription, an individual may visit different doctors without telling them that they have already received a previous prescription for the same drug.
BAART Programs Can Help You or Your Loved One
If you discover that you or a loved one is showing the behavioral signs of opioid addiction, it’s important to seek urgent help. At BAART Programs, we’ve been offering medication-assisted treatment along with counseling to help people overcome addiction for over 40 years. Call us now at 844-341-4040 for more information about our centers near you.