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Your loved one might be dealing with opiates unknown to you, and this might be the reason why they are acting in a way that you’re not used to. Similarly, you might observe some changes in their physical appearance, but you are unaware of what they are going through.

When you know how to spot the signs of opiate addiction, it becomes easier to know how to suggest treatment help so that they can get better.

Here are some of the signs of opiates addiction

Drop in performance at work or school

When someone is addicted to opiates, it can affect important aspects of their lives like school or work. For those of them working in an organization, it might be difficult for them to meet up with the demands at work.

Their productivity will drop, and it will be obvious to their colleagues. Some of them might show up late to work, or even be absent for some days.

Similarly, if a student is addicted to opiates, they might not be present at school, and they will record poor grades because they are less focused than before.

Changes in sleep patterns

An opiate addict will find it difficult to maintain a stable sleep pattern. They might struggle with insomnia or hypersomnia. When you observe that your loved one doesn’t have a regular sleep pattern, they might be dealing with opiates.

Mood changes

Another way to spot opiate addicts is through their mood. They will experience excessive mood swings ranging from hostility to elation. This means that they can be happy one minute, and the next minute, they are angry or depressed.  

Changes in physical appearance

You can also observe the signs of opiate addiction in your loved ones from their physical appearance. Some of these symptoms are sores, wounds, weight loss, poor hygiene, constricted pupils, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, poor coordination, and motor skills.

If you think that your loved one is struggling with opiate addiction, you can speak to a healthcare provider who can create an addiction treatment plan for them.

If you are concerned about not getting addicted to opiates, there are some steps you can take to ensure this.

Most times, people take opiates to help them manage pain. But, some of them continue to use these drugs even when they don’t feel pain, and this is because of the euphoric feeling that it provides. In this post, you will learn how to prevent opiate addiction even while managing pain.

Work closely with your doctor

One of the major mistakes that people make is taking drugs without the knowledge of their doctor. Before you use opiates, ensure that your healthcare provider is aware, so that they can guide you on the right way to go.

You can work openly with your doctor to create an inclusive pain management plan which has all the possible options.

Don’t break the rules when using opiates

When using opiates, ensure that you stick to the dosage and frequency instead of taking them based on how you feel. Remember that drugs work best when you use them according to the prescribed dosage. Additionally, don’t take opioids with substances like alcohol.

If you want to take opioids with other drugs, inform your healthcare provider to avoid complicating your health. If you observe any side effects, reach out to your doctor instantly, and if you stop using the drugs, ensure they are aware.  

Don’t buy opiates over-the-counter

Many people are addicted to opiates because they are easily accessible. These set of people can get opiates from over-the-counter and other means, so anytime they feel like taking it, they can obtain it with little or no effort.

When you get drugs over the counter, it comes with no prescriptions or warnings. This might be risky because you are unaware of the side effects that come with that opiate.

Ultimately, when it comes to how you handle the pain with drugs, ensure your healthcare provider is always in the loop. Before you take any action, always inform them.

Addiction is more than the strong desire to use a drug or an opioid in this case. It is a neurological disorder that imprisons the sufferer. Addictions have no present cure but can be managed. The management of addictions of all sorts is the focal point of caring for opiate addicts.

Opiate addicts are individuals who have spiraled out of control while engaging the use of an opioid or opium to reduce pain. They are persons who have depended on the use of these substances to escape from the cringing sensation of pain.

Their continued dependence on opioids then alters the chemistry of their brains consequentially creating a sense of absolute dependency on the drug. It is called substance use abuse or addiction.

Breaking out of the orbit of addiction takes more than just determination and motivation. It requires adequate care and attention to gain lasting sobriety.

Failure to do this can cause a situation called a relapse. A relapse disease happens when the person returns to using the addicted drug after planning to quit. The only way to sobriety from opioid addiction is by enrolling at an inpatient rehab center.

The content of addiction treatment must be to the end that addicts stop their drugs completely, stay sober, and are productive in the community.

To do this, there are many options to consider. Examples are behavioral counseling, medication, use of medical drugs and devices, and long-term checking up to prevent a relapse. Other methods include checking for other medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia.

Since addiction is much more than a health condition, a truckload of psychological therapy is advisable. Addicts should be engaged in motivational therapy, cognitive therapy, religious and social activities.

Addiction cannot be cured but, if managed well, can be overcome.

Thomas Sydenham, one of the first European doctors to treat a patient with Opium, wrote a listing worthy of note. He wrote that “among the remedies which it has pleased Almighty God to give man to relieve his sufferings, none is as universal and efficacious as opium” (Gay & Way, 1972).

Opium is a narcotic drug extracted from the unripe pods of Papaver somniferum (the opium poppy). It contains alkaloids such as codeine, morphine, etc. These chemicals, when released into the body, produce natural substances in response to pain. An example of such natural substances is Endorphin.

Opiates are a blessing to man as it is one of the most potent painkillers. However, it is responsible for substance use abuse in the world today.

It is best to view drugs as two-edged swords, available to help the individual but can cause severe damage as their use continues. Opiods such as heroin are known to be one of the world’s leading most addictive drugs. They release large amounts of dopamine in the brain. It then creates the feeling of being high.

The substance use abuse of Opioids causes a weakened immune system, drowsiness, constipation, and shallow breathing. It can also cause behavioral damages too which can be short-term and long-term.

The short-term behavioral damages include changes in appetite, insomnia, slurred speech. Further damages include loss of coordination, changes in cognitive ability, increase in heart rate, etc. It can also cause a feeling of euphoria.

There may also be gross inability to stop using a drug, poor efficiency at work, increased risk-taking behaviors, and loss of interest in things they used to enjoy doing.

Extended use of opioids can cause long-term damages to the brain. These damages can cause hallucinations, depression, paranoia, anxiety, and brain damage. 

One of the reasons why Opiates would be given out in a medical facility is because, the individual needs it to for pain and anxiety reduction. The sad part is, a good number of people have bastardized the usage, because of the euphoria it gives.

People are insatiable, and they would at one point or the other need an enhanced form of pleasure, so they would seek out opiates themselves.

All it requires for Opiates addiction to set in, is to take an extra dosage. The euphoria experienced at this point would be surreal, until the individual gets used to it.

Then, there is a need for a higher dosage than the previous one. This leads to a cycle where the individual is unable to get enough of the pleasure that Opiates gives.

Then, he or she seeks to combine it with other medications like Naltrexone and Fentanyl, hoping that the resultant effect would be massive.

Opiate addicts find it hard to break free from this form of addiction. To start with, a good number of them would not agree with you that they are addicted, even though the signs are so glaring.

For Opiates addicts, the nerve receptors adapt, and resistance is provided for the drugs, which requires higher doses than the former.

However, the striking part about all this is, not everyone who overdoses Opiates are addicted. They do not experience the withdrawal symptoms.

The first phase of treatment for Opiates addiction, is detoxification. This is basically the process of eliminating the accumulation of toxins that are harmful to the body.

These toxins are responsible for the appearance of certain withdrawal symptoms that are unpleasant to the body.

Hence, when the individual undergoes detoxification, it would be easy to manage these symptoms because the toxins have been eliminated. A good number of expected symptoms are: Anxiety, Diarrhea, Vomiting and the likes.

In the Opiate addiction process, it is necessary for everyone to have a counselor who would stand by them all through.