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What Does Opioid Addiction Look Like?

Opioid use is prevalent in the United States and has caused a crisis because of its addictive nature. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. But do you know how to tell if someone is addicted to opioids? It isn’t always easy to tell, especially in the early stages, but there are some telltale signs of opioid addiction to look out for.

What Is Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is a chronic disease that can lead to major health and personal problems. Opioid drugs work by relieving pain and producing pleasure. They do this by latching onto receptors in the central nervous system and interrupting pain signals. Because of the pain-relieving capabilities, they are often legally prescribed by doctors to treat patients with severe pain. But opioids can also be highly addictive and are therefore susceptible to misuse.

Common Signs of Opioid Addiction

There are some common physical signs and behaviors that someone addicted to opioids may display. These include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns: Sleeping more or less than usual, and/or at odd hours or intervals.
  • Extreme mood/energy swings: Being very tired or very energetic.
  • Poor decision-making: People with an opioid addiction may get in trouble or disregard responsibilities.
  • Eating more or less than usual: Leading to noticeable weight gain or loss.
  • Loss of interest in activities: A person may show little or no interest in activities they liked to do in the past.
  • Easily agitated: The person has a short temper, and they seem to get bothered by smaller things than they used to.
  • Lack of hygiene: Regular personal hygiene, such as brushing teeth and washing your face, may no longer be a priority.

These changes may look subtle at first, but over time they will become more obvious. The person may also start to withdraw from friends and family and resort to extreme measures to get the opioids.

Risk Factors

Opioid addiction can affect anyone, regardless of who you are or where you come from. And there is no individual cause attributed to any substance use disorder. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, certain factors increase a person’s risk of opioid addiction. These include:

  • Family history of substance use disorder
  • Struggles with severe depression and anxiety
  • Stressful living environment
  • Regular exposure to drug use

While these factors are not necessarily indicative of an opioid addiction, they may help you determine if your loved one is at a greater risk.

Contact BAART Programs for More Information

If you suspect a loved one may have an opioid addiction, know that recovery is possible. At BAART Programs, we deliver quality outpatient medication-assisted treatment and counseling. We believe people can change their lives with the right treatment program and support system. With 29 locations throughout six states and partner locations throughout the country, we can serve you. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help.

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