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Recognizing the Signs of Opiate Addiction

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Medically reviewed: 01/17/2019
Last updated: 05/13/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It is important to take the time to recognize the signs of opiate addiction. Opiates can be prescribed by a doctor for various reasons including pain or they can be consumed illegally by “street” drugs. Some of the types of opiates are morphine, codeine and heroin. Opiates are known to be the world’s most powerful painkillers. Some prescribed medications such as Tylenol #3 and Vicodin are given to help a person be able to cope with large amounts of pain throughout their body. When the drug is consumed incorrectly is can turn in an addiction that can lead into more dangerous situations.

Drug Dependency

signs of opiate addiction

Becoming dependent on a prescription opiate often leads to addiction.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, one of the major signs of opiate addiction is when the person becomes dependent on the drug. For some people, their drug of choice can be a painkiller or another prescription that they were prescribed after an accident by their primary physician. They may start to take the medication too often and refilling their prescription more earlier than usual. When the person becomes dependent on opiates it can cause harmful consequences to the person and the loved ones around them quick. Be aware that they may deny that they don’t have any dependency or problem with the drug.

Signs of Withdrawal

One of the signs of opiate addiction is when you are seeing signs of withdrawal. There are different signs of opiate withdrawal that you should look out for. A few are anxiety, insomnia, sweating and vomiting. The time that it takes for withdrawal symptoms to pass and the body to recover from the options will vary from person to person. Most withdrawal symptoms will start about 12 to 30 hours after the last drug use. The amount of time can vary from each different opiate.

Financial Issues

Financial issues is another one of the signs of opiate addiction that you may start to recognize. When your loved one has became addicted to one of the opiate drugs, they may start making wrong financial decisions. An opiates addiction can be a very expensive habit. Some addicts will resort to borrowing or stealing money to feed their addiction. You may start to see them having troubles paying their bills and they may start getting shut off and eviction notices. The financial strain can become very severe quickly and lead their families into a financial mess.

Behavioral Changes

The behavior of someone that has an opiate addiction can be completely opposite of how they acted before the addiction. When looking for behavioral signs of opiate addiction, look for attitude changes, the people they start to hang out with, anxiety, depression and paranoia. It is common for people who become addicted to opiates, to start shutting themselves off from loved ones or people that they were once very close to. It is also common for an opiate addict to start breaking promises or commitments that they have made.