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Early Signs Of Opioid Addiction

Early Signs Of Opioid Addiction

Opioids are some of the most strongly addictive substances in the world. While these substances are commonly prescribed for pain management, they are also widely used and abused outside of this context. Regardless of the initial reason they are consumed, the use of these substances can quickly spiral out of control and represent a real problem for your physical and mental well-being.

Most patients who take opioid medications for pain management will not develop a problem with addiction. However, knowing how to spot the early signs of opioid addiction is important to prevent the problem from impacting virtually every aspect of your life (or the life of a loved one). If you notice any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, then it is important that you seek out the support and advice of an addiction centre in Toronto as soon as possible.

Let’s look at some of the early signs of opioid addiction to watch out for so that you can catch a potential problem in yourself or a loved one before it becomes serious:

Close up of the dictionary definition of addiction

Physical Signs

Opioid addiction is not always detectable in a physical sense, though awareness of some of the classic signs is important. If you are concerned about your loved one, then look out for signs of needle marks on the arms and legs caused by intravenous drug use. You may notice that the pupils of an opiate addict are severely constricted in a “pinpoint” way.

You may also notice that opiate addicts exhibit flushed or itchy skin. Opioids have a number of physiological effects on the body and many of these last long after the actual effects of the drug have worn off.

Psychological Signs

Those who suffer from opiate addiction often suffer from a lack of normal sleep. They may fall asleep at inappropriate times throughout the day or have difficulty sleeping at night.

If you are concerned that you have an opioid addiction problem, then you may notice that your days are filled with a high degree of intense general anxiety. You might even experience panic attacks, especially related to periods when you are not using opioids. You may have a significantly lowered motivation to do activities and tasks that used to be important to you. You might experience significant periods of major depression or you might take out your frustrations on others through an increase in irritability.

Classically, an opiate addict will also exhibit an intense preoccupation with opioids. Many of their thoughts will revolve around the consumption and procurement of these substances.

Behavioural Signs

If you have been prescribed opioids as part of a pain management treatment program, then addiction can manifest itself as an increasing pattern of use of these substances. Perhaps you might find that your prescribed dose of opioids no longer provides you with the same relief that it did at first. You may gradually begin to increase your use of these substances over time in order to achieve the same benefits. This can manifest itself as either a greater frequency of use or a greater absolute amount of these substances at specified times throughout the day. You may even find yourself taking your medication “just in case” even if your pain symptoms are no longer noticeable or prevalent.

Finding yourself visiting multiple doctors to obtain several different opioid prescriptions is a classic sign that you likely have an addiction problem. If you are actively practicing deceptive behaviour with medical professionals who are responsible for your care and treatment, then it is important that you contact an addiction centre in Toronto immediately.

If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, you might notice that they have become increasingly withdrawn from activities and social gatherings that they used to enjoy. They may spend more time alone and become increasingly secretive about their daily routine. You may also notice that their mood seems to be more unstable and will swing between highs and lows in a more dramatic fashion. Their behaviour may be significantly out of character from the person that you know and love.

Opioid addiction also manifests itself through increased impulsivity. Addiction is fundamentally an impulse control disorder, and this may spill over into other areas of the addict’s life. Addiction centres in Toronto specialize in treating these conditions and will work with patients to help them bring balance back into their life.

Close up of hands reaching for opioids

Know The Risk Factors

There are some identifiable addiction risk factors to keep in mind to inform your assessment as to whether you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction. While anyone can become addicted to these substances, addiction is most common in younger individuals (in their twenties), in those with lower socioeconomic status, in those with a family history of substance abuse, and in those who regularly associate with those who abuse drugs or pursue other high-risk activities.

Take Action If You Notice These Signs And Symptoms

Spotting these signs and symptoms will provide you with a better understanding as to whether you yourself or a loved one is suffering from the early stages of opioid addiction. While in many cases, loved ones might simply intuit that something is “off” about someone who is abusing opioids, it is important to be able to know the classic signs of this addiction. If you’d like to know more about the signs, you can get in touch with us here at Freedom From Addiction and one of our consultants will be happy to help you out.

If caught early, the plague of opioid dependency and abuse can be more easily broken. If ignored and left untreated, the problem can rapidly become much worse and spiral out of control. By seeking the assistance of an addiction centre in Toronto as well as through the support of twelve-step programs, you will be able to find the treatment you need to kick the habit for good.

Do not neglect the seriousness of opioid addiction if you suspect that you or a loved one has a problem. Seek the support of an addiction centre in Toronto right away if you have any concerns or need answers to questions regarding this condition.

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