Signs of Opiate Addiction and Abuse

November 27, 2017

Opiate Addiction is a serious health disease. If it is not controlled, drug addiction can lead to death from overdose. It is important for loved ones to watch out for certain signs of abuse in those they suspect may be using opiates. Opiates are extremely addictive drugs and do leave tangible signs in an abuser’s body, mind and social life. If you see these signs and symptoms of opiate abuse or addiction, please don’t wait to seek help for you or your loved ones. Overdose can happen at any moment, so take action now before it is too late.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

When a person is abusing or addicted to opiates, they often prioritize obtaining their drug of choice and getting high above all other things. As a result, opiate abuse and addiction has a number of visible signs. If you suspect a friend or family member may be using opiates, you should begin to see changes in these aspects of their life:

• Financially
• Professionally
• Legally
• Socially
• Interpersonally

When a person is addicted to opiates, they will do anything they can to obtain the drug. This, of course, means spending money on purchasing opiates. Over time, this pursuit of an opiate high will lead to financial problems. Further financial signs of opiate abuse include:

• Asking to borrow money from loved ones
• Stealing money to pay for opiates
• Cashing out retirement accounts or life savings to pay for opiates
• Bankruptcy
• Forfeit of home due to inability to pay rent or a mortgage
• Losing a business because of using business funds to purchase opiates
• Losing a job because of stealing company funds to purchase opiates

Financial and Professional Troubles Go Hand in Hand

Financial troubles are often closely tied to the legal problems most addicts encounter. Whether they get arrested for buying or possessing opiates illegally, or are arrested for driving while under the influence, opiate addicts often have run-ins with the law. Legal fees can and paying for bail can quickly add up, putting addicts even further in the hole.

Financial troubles may be exacerbated by professional problems. Addicts often come to work late, leave work early, or miss work altogether in order to score their next fix, or because they are high and forget about such obligations. Opiate abuse also affects cognition, which may lead to lower job performance. Similarly, those in school may experience similar issues. Teens or adults attending school may skip classes, score poorly on tests and even lose their chance to graduate due to opiate abuse.

Losing Interest in Activities

With opiates on the forefront of their mind, addicts often lose sight of activities they were once interested in. If a person stops suddenly caring about a group or club they were a part of, they may be avoiding the group to get high instead. Alternatively, they could have been kicked out of their group because of a showing up to a gathering high, or because of something they said while high. These behaviors can easily destroy relationships, which is another common sign of opiate abuse. Addicts may exhibit these signs interpersonally:

• Ignoring or avoiding loved ones
• Forgetting family responsibilities, such as picking a child up from school
• Starting fights with loved ones
• Becoming domestically violent with children or romantic partners
• Lying to loved ones to avoid being caught using opiates

More Signs of Opiate Addiction

Some other miscellaneous signs of opiate abuse include:

• Faking pain related emergencies or hurting themselves intentionally so that they can receive pain medication

• Having an excess of pill bottles and prescription pads in their home or in their vicinity

• Not eating
• Losing a lot of weight
• Having unexpected mood changes
• Wearing long sleeves in the summer or warm climates to hide track marks

It may be difficult to confront your loved one about what you suspect but it’s important to bring up your concerns with them. They may have a variety of reactions, including feeling insulted, angry, or accusing you of sabotaging their life. Regardless of these responses, you must encourage them to seek help for their opiate addiction now. Time is of the essence, and if proper measures are not taken to address opiate abuse, it could be too late. Opiate abuse spares no one and overdose can be lethal.

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Written and Published by – Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)

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