Opioid Addiction Signs

Womah showcasing opioid addiction signs

Opioid Addiction Signs

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: December 24, 2019

When someone starts to show opioid addiction signs, it should not be taken lightly. While the signs may differ from person to person, it is easier to spot them in people with moderate to severe addiction. If you’ve noticed the signs in someone you love, help is available at Lakeview Health. Our opioid addiction treatment center in Jacksonville, FL helps men and women recover from opioid abuse.

Opioid Addiction is a Serious Crisis

Opioid abuse, dependence, and addiction is at the heart of the US opioid epidemic. Opioids, also called opiates, are drugs made from opium extracted from the opium poppy plants. Doctors prescribe the drugs to treat severe or chronic pain, and when no other treatment will suffice.

Although opioids are effective painkillers, they are highly addictive even when used as directed by a doctor. Some of the most addictive opioid painkillers include fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine. Another highly addictive opioid is heroin, a popular illegal street drug that is potent and dangerous to health and life.

According to SAMHSA, in 2018, there were approximately 2.0 million people aged 12 or older, with an opioid use disorder. The number is equal to 0.7 percent of the US population. People become addicted to opioids if they abuse the drug or use it illicitly for pleasure. Illicit use includes taking opioids with alcohol or other drugs such as heroin. This practice is itself one of the opioid addiction signs. Mixing heroin and cocaine is called speedballing and is dangerous enough to cause overdose or death. In fact, heroin was involved in 15,482 overdose deaths in 2017.

Opioid Addiction Signs and Symptoms

A substance use disorder involving opioids or other drugs is a chronic brain condition that has no cure. The disorder happens because of how opioids affect the brain. Prolonged use of the drug reinforces the need to use the drug to re-experience the pain-relieving and euphoric effects. This, in turn, leads to ongoing cravings, tolerance, dependence, and then addiction.

Those who take large doses of opioids or mix them with other addictive substances are more at risk of addiction. Depending on the stage of addiction, the individual may display physical, behavioral, or psychological opioid addiction signs: They include itchy skin, insomnia, social withdrawal, and:

  • Unusual mood swings or anxiety
  • Constricted, “pinpoint” pupils
  • Compulsive drug-seeking and use despite the harmful consequences
  • Needle marks on arms and legs from injecting the drug
  • Impulsive actions, risk-taking, or poor decision-making
  • Visiting different doctors to obtain more prescriptions

Note the opioid addiction signs seem similar to whether the drug involved is a prescription painkiller or the infamous heroin. A person who gets to the stage of addiction where physical and psychological opioid dependence signs are present may need medical treatment. However, spotting the signs early and receiving early intervention treatment can help prevent addiction from happening.

Medical Detox and Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you recognize the opioid addiction signs and wish to start treatment, the first step is an evaluation by our medical team at Lakeview Health. We will assess the level of addiction and determine if you need treatment for a co-occurring disorder such as depression or anxiety. Based on the findings, your doctor may recommend detox, followed by dual diagnosis treatment. This means you’ll receive treatment for substance abuse and any mental health disorder linked to opioid addiction.

At the medical detox center, you will be in the care of qualified doctors and mental health professionals who will help to ease the burden of opioid withdrawal. They are there to provide medication assistance or emotional support. Depending on the severity of addiction and your work or family commitments, you can receive care in any of these programs:

Recover in a Private Drug-Free Environment

Addiction does not affect you alone. It also impacts your loved ones. At Lakeview Health, we personalize each patient’s treatment plan to address the whole person. There is also the family therapy program for you and your loved one to work through the difficulties drug abuse caused and find positive solutions. Remember, we can help whether you’re in Jacksonville, FL, or another city. Contact Lakeview Health at 866.704.7692 to find out about admissions.