10 Signs Your Loved One Suffers from Opiate Addiction
Opiate addiction is a potential serious problem that now affects the lives of millions of people throughout the United States. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell if your loved one is suffering from an addiction or if there may be something else to blame. These are the most common signs that you loved one may need help—but this list is only the beginning of the potential signals that you should be on the lookout for if you suspect that someone you love may be abusing opiates.
Changes in friendships
People who are addicted to opiates will often stop spending time with people who don’t use drugs so that they can have more time to themselves to use drugs or so that they can spend more time with people who also abuse drugs.
Lack of Personal Appearance
Opiate addiction often causes the user to stop taking care of himself and to stop caring. A general lack of personal appearance is not a tell-tale sign of opiate addiction but it could signal a problem.
Changes in Mood
Opiate addiction will often cause distinct changes in the behavior and mood of the user. You may notice that the individual is happy one day, angry the next and melancholy the next. Changes in mood, that cannot be attributed to normal situations or to any other element in the user’s life could signify a problem with addiction.
People who become addicted to opiates will often say that they lost money or that they spent money on other things to cover up their addiction. Missing money, having money stolen from you when you suspect someone you love is using drugs or having a loved one lie to you about money are all potential signs of opiate addiction.
Opiate addiction leads a user to stop spending time on the things that matter most—like their relationships. Relationship problems can arise when opiate addiction is present and despite the problems, the user will keep taking the drug because he or she is physically and psychologically dependent on it.
Has someone you loved been arrested for possession of opiates? Is a loved one in trouble with the law for DUI or something else related to his or her drug use? If the individual is in trouble and continues to abuse drugs there is likely a deeper problem present—a problem with addiction.
One of the first real signs of addiction is the denial that there is a problem. If your loved one is denying that he or she has a problem with addiction, but you know for sure that he is abusing drugs, denial is likely to blame.
Lack of Control
People who are addicted to opiates lose control over their drug use. They may want to use less or to stop all together but despite their good will and intentions they have a lack of control over their drug use and they continue to do the drugs.
According to Medline Plus, “over time, greater amounts of the drug become necessary to produce the same effect.” This is known as tolerance, and it’s one of the earliest signs of opiate addiction. As tolerance builds, the user will go through great struggles to ensure he has the drugs that he “needs” in order to continue to fuel his craving and dependence.
A common sign of opiate addiction, that nobody really wants to feel, is withdrawal. If your loved one is sick, miserable or otherwise uncomfortable when he stops using opiates, his body is withdrawing. Withdrawal can be painful and difficult to go through which is why so many people keep using drugs instead of dealing with the symptoms first hand.