Are You Addicted to Opiates?

“The more things change, the more things stay the same.” For decades now, the US has been dealing with social issues involving opiate addiction. Before the turn of the century, heroin was a favorite illicit drug among hardcore addicts. Today, heroin still has a substantial following but shares the opiate spotlight with prescription painkillers and the always-dangerous fentanyl.

This time around, abuse of these substances has reached epidemic levels. Perhaps, the stress of living life in the 21st century is creating a market that seems to have no end. If you have been taking any of the aforementioned opiates and find problems cropping up in your life, you may have an addiction. Let’s discuss opiate addiction further. 

The Dangers Associated With Opiate Abuse 

The news is filled with stories of struggle and death because of heroin and painkiller abuse. At what point do we step up as a society and start addressing these issues? If you are reluctant to admit you have a problem, you might find some information about opiate abuse to be very useful.

Just prior to addiction comes dependence. If your body is showing signs of dependence on opiates, you might well be on your way to an addiction. Dependence is characterized by the need you feel to start increasing doses and taking your drugs more often. The more heroin or painkillers you start putting into your body, the more likely you are to start suffering from some dangerous side effects such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of motor function in the extremities
  • Constant sleep issues
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Onset of psych issues like anxiety and depression
  • Behavioral changes like flashes of anger
  • Constipation

That’s quite a list, and it only outlines the side effects from using too much of an opiate substance. At some point, the body becomes so dependent on the substance that severe withdrawal symptoms become a problem should the user decide to stop using. The combination of possible withdrawal issues and an increase in behavior problems are a clear indication of addiction. Are you there yet? To help you better assess your personal situation, we will discuss the signs of opiate addiction. 

The Signs of Opiate Addiction 

Generally, opiate addiction will affect each person a little differently. We will describe some of the general signs of opiate addiction and allow you to decide for yourself where you stand. It’s critical you be honest with yourself even if you are not willing to do so with others. 

The signs of opiate addiction can be divided into tree categories; Mood issues, physical health issues and behavioral issues. The mood issues are the easiest to identify. They include:

  • Loss of motivation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sudden increase in self-esteem
  • Sudden onset of depression

The physical signs include:

  • Increased sensitivity to stimuli
  • Blood pressure and heart rate issues
  • Dissipation of appetite
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Physical aggression and agitation
  • Hyper-activity

Where the real problems occur is with behavior. When behavior issues come to the surface, other people tend to get pulled into or victimized by the addictive behavior. The behavioral signs of addiction include:

  • Obsession with finding money to support the drug habit
  • Total dismissal of important responsibilities
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Problems at work and/or school
  • Onset of criminal behavior to find and buy drugs
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or recreational activities
  • Confrontational behavior at the suggestion a problem exists

All of this is relevant information you can use to decide if you have an opiate addiction. The reality is you have to decide that for yourself. It does no good for someone else to assess your situation and try to convince you about it. 

An opiate addiction is going to require intensive addiction treatment. If and when you determine you have an addiction, we hope you will seek help. There’s always hope you can beat your addiction as long as you have breath and are willing to try. To learn more about opiate addiction, have a look at The Recovery Village.