If someone close to you has exhibited unexplainable changes to their behavior and appearance, they might show signs of opioid addiction. Similarly, if you have been given a prescription but now you are struggling with things like cravings, you might be curious whether you exhibit signs of opioid use and if it’s time to get help.
Which Drugs are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from the Opium poppy plant. Today, however, there are many synthetic opioids used for medical purposes and used illegally. Opioids can be divided into three categories:
- Illegal opioids include heroin
- Synthetic opioids created in a laboratory and not derived from the Opium poppy plant include Fentanyl
- Prescription opioids include Vicodin, Oxycontin, codeine, morphine, and others
How Do Opioids Affect the Body?
Prescription opioids are used as pain management or sedation drugs. Morphine might be used as a sedative during surgery, and Vicodin might be prescribed for pain management. Street drugs like heroin or illegally acquired Fentanyl serve the same purpose: to sedate and numb pain.
Opioids block pain signals sent between your body and brain and concurrently help you feel more relaxed and happy. Every time you take opioids, you stop your body from producing its regular levels of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals naturally produced to make you feel high, like after exercise, trying something new, or giving an excellent presentation at work. The more you take opioids, the less your body produces endorphins naturally. This means that the same activities which once gave you a natural high no longer do. So for you to feel good again, do you have to take more opioids more often.
If you have significant pain, the same thing happens where your body stops sending pain signals, but the more often you take opioids, the higher the dos you require to block the same level of pain in your body.
What are the signs of Opioid Addiction?
Opioids are highly addictive. Whether you take things like Vicodin after surgery or street drugs like heroin, you can exhibit symptoms of opioid use almost immediately, and you run a significant risk of addiction. Most people who are given legal opioids in the form of a prescription don’t necessarily know the inherent dangers of that prescription.
Signs of opioid addiction can take behavioral, physical, or psychological forms.
Someone struggling with addiction might show behavioral signs of opioid addiction, like a sudden mood change. You might notice decreased libido, drowsiness, a lack of hygiene, significant weight loss, or changes in sleeping patterns. That same person might change their social habits, no longer associate with friends and family, or engage in the same activities or hobbies they once loved.
Physical signs might include withdrawal symptoms where someone exhibits drowsiness, confusion, slowed breathing, constipation, or nausea that is otherwise unexplained.
Other signs of opioid abuse include risky behavior like stealing or financial problems. If someone has a prescription, they might go to multiple doctors outside of their health care coverage to get various prescriptions simultaneously. This usually goes hand-in-hand with the uncontrollable cravings a person experiences and the inability to stop.
What Opioid Treatment Program is Most Effective
If you notice symptoms of opioid use in yourself or someone you love, look for an opioid treatment program that offers medically supervised detoxification as the first step. With opioid addiction, the most effective program combines detoxification with inpatient therapy. The first two days of an opioid detox are often the hardest, and it is here that many people relapse. But medical supervision at an inpatient facility can give you prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to ease the discomfort of your withdrawal symptoms to get through the biggest challenges of your detox.
Once that is done, you want a facility like Laguna View Detox, which helps you manage those signs of opioid addiction through a residential program. Residential programs have a higher success rate for recovery and allow you to live at the facility for the duration of your immediate recovery. With 24-hour supervision and guidance, your schedule is structured with a full day of individual and group therapies, evidence-based practices customized to your needs, and holistic activities designed to improve your coping skills and stress management strategies long-term.
So, if you are ready to get help with opioid addiction, find a treatment program at Laguna View Detox that is customized to your needs and offers detox and inpatient programs in Laguna Beach designed to accommodate your schedule.