Identifying Opioid Abuse in Yourself and Those that You Love

You may have heard about opioid abuse and addiction in movies, on T.V., in the news, and on the internet. It is an addiction that is now being categorized by the United States Government and the Centers for Disease Control as an epidemic. The overdose rates for opioids are staggering and it may even surpass alcohol addiction as one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Despite knowing all of this, you could be addicted to opiates and never realize that you have a very serious problem.

Opioid abuse can begin in one of a few ways. Some people start taking opioids as prescriptions for chronic pain or surgery. Other people begin taking it as a recreational drug because of the euphoria that opiates cause you to feel. Regardless of how it begins, it can be very difficult to identify whether you are simply using opioids to treat pain or if you are addicted to it. Fortunately, there are ways to identify it and your loved ones.

Opioid Cravings

These are harder to identify in others but experiencing cravings for opioids or the feelings that opioids give you is a very classic sign of addiction. A way to test this is to stop taking them for a few hours or miss a dose. If you feel a strong craving for the opioid despite not having severe pain, it is possible that you are addicted. Do this with a doctor’s help, if you are going to try it.

Doctor Shopping or Seeking Multiple Prescriptions

Doctor shopping is relatively easy to identify in yourself and others. Doctor shopping is simply going to more than one doctor for the same prescription to obtain multiple prescriptions. This is a very classic behavior of those who are suffering from opioid abuse. If you or a loved one is seeing more than one doctor for the same symptoms, faking symptoms to get prescriptions, or trying to get more than the prescribed amounts, there is a good chance an addiction is present.

Using More than the Prescribed Amount

This is sometimes a very early sign of addiction or abuse. If you start taking the opioid more often than it is prescribed or if you start taking more than the amount you are prescribed, you are usually on your way to addiction. This is a sign that you have built up a tolerance to the opioid. Once the tolerance begins, your body will need more of the opioid to get the same result.

Each of these is a way to tell if you may be abusing opioid drugs. Although there are many more signs, of opioid abuse but these are classic signs that are sometimes the most easy to identify. If you are experiencing any of these signs it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. It is said that opioids are the hardest drugs to stop using and a severe addiction usually requires professional treatment and sometimes medication assisted treatment to end.