Opioids are prescription drugs used to treat pain. Physicians often prescribe these highly addictive medicines to patients with chronic pain or those who have undergone surgery. Opioids can come in tablets or capsules but are consumed in several ways. For example, some may crush these tablets into powder form and are snorted, or they could dissolve them in liquid and inject the drugs into the veins. 

Not only are opioids an effective pain reliever, but they can also produce a calming effect that is highly addictive. Snorting or injecting these substances can produce intense feelings of euphoria, making it even harder for the user to stop taking them. The drugs work by stimulating the reward part of the brain, and once someone becomes accustomed to feelings of “being high,” stopping can be extremely difficult. 

If you think a loved one may be addicted to opioids, you should take action as soon as possible. We’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of opioid use and what steps you need to take to help a loved one recover from drug addiction. 

How is Opioid Addiction Developed?

Some people who developed opioid addiction started using them as prescription medications. But the longer they use opioids, the greater their chances of being addicted to the drug. Your loved ones may become highly dependent on it if you don’t intervene. As their addiction worsens, they will need higher doses of these drugs, and some may take extreme measures to obtain opioids. Some people may steal or resort to being violent to support their addiction. 

Thankfully, drug addiction can be treated. As soon as you notice that a loved one may be using opioids, we highly encourage you to get help. Seek a professional who can help so that the addiction doesn’t progress into something even more serious. Remember, the consequences of opioid abuse may be difficult to reverse, such as bodily harm, damaged relationships or criminal charges. The sooner you get help, the sooner your loved one can fully recover from addiction. 

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Use

Do you suspect a loved one may be using opioids? If he’s using heroin, you may notice that he has pinned pupils and may have trouble nodding or staying straight, especially when taking opioids in higher doses. 

If they are high on opioids, these people may not care about their appearance, have slurred speech, or be surprisingly slow in their movements. This can be very dangerous in the long run, so please make sure you get help immediately. 

Watch out for the signs of opioid intoxication below. Physical symptoms include:

• Slow heart rate
• Low blood pressure and temperature
• Less or no physical pain
• A high or euphoric feeling
• Confusion
• Constipation
• Tiredness
• Dry mouth
• Keeps on nodding
• Unusually very happy 

Keep in mind, though, some people may be able to hide some of their symptoms. It’s essential to know the behavioral signs of opioid abuse to help you determine if your loved ones are addicted to these substances.  

Your loved ones may have serious symptoms if they’ve been using opioids for a long time. In some cases, they may need to be taken to a hospital. This is why it’s crucial to know the early signs of opioid abuse and try to get help at the soonest possible time. 

Serious symptoms of opioid abuse include:

• Shallow or slowed breathing
• Slow heartbeat
• Drowsiness
• Dizziness

Behavioral Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

People addicted to opioids are likely to withdraw from commitments and other activities. You may notice them losing interest in things that used to excite them. Some of them may drastically change their routines or habits. They may also become extremely irritable and may have issues dealing with anger. 

It’s crucial that you know both the physical and behavioral signs of opioid abuse and get help immediately after symptoms show up. Other behavioral symptoms you need to watch out for include a feeling of nervousness or anxiety. Some people using opioids may also be either dishonest or secretive, and sometimes even both. If you’re not sure whether or not your loved one is abusing opioids, feel free to reach out to a professional. Don’t be afraid to seek help — while it can be challenging to treat opioid abuse, it’s not impossible. We’ve seen patients permanently heal from drug abuse. So long as they get the right help, your loved ones will be on the right track. 

Withdrawal Symptoms of Opioid Abuse

People who have been using opioids for longer periods will experience withdrawal symptoms if they fail to take the drug, even for a few days. The symptoms may be similar to having the flu as they may include nausea, headaches, sweating, vomiting, and extreme anxiety. 

You must act immediately when these symptoms manifest. Remember, these signs can worsen over time, especially when your loved one keeps taking opioids. They may tend to also abuse it by taking opioids in large doses. If the problem isn’t addressed, it could lead to long-term side effects.

Potential side effects of opioids abuse include:

• Severe constipation
• Depression
• Vein damage (from those that inject the substance)
• Liver damage
• Insomnia

Continued use of opioids can be damaging both physically and emotionally. Get help from a medical professional if you suspect a loved one may be using these substances. Don’t wait until your loved ones suffer from other problems associated with opioid use, such as having financial issues, losing their jobs, or damaging their relationships with their families. 

Other serious effects of opioid abuse:

Some people who are extremely addicted to opioids may inject these substances into their veins as it causes a sudden euphoria. But if they’re not careful, they may contract HIV when using unsterilized needles. Heavy abuse may also affect their logical thinking, and some women may engage in unprotected sex, leading to unwanted pregnancies. The worst that could happen is when a pregnant woman using opioids may affect the baby. This could lead to a baby’s hospitalization after birth. 

It’s crucial to recognize an opiate addiction as it’s the first step to recovery. Remember, consuming these substances in large amounts and for extended periods could lead to even more damage. It will be more difficult to deal with the addiction, and it may take more time to fully recover from it. Know the early symptoms of opioid abuse and make sure that you do something about it. 

Steps You Need to Take to Help a Loved One Recover From Addiction

Helping a family member or a friend recover from addiction can be a painful and long journey. But permanent recovery is possible so long as they are willing to go the extra mile to eliminate their addiction. 

One thing you can do is to educate yourself about addiction to help you know the signs and symptoms. It would help to also reach out to a medical professional who can provide you guidance in helping you convince a loved one or a friend to recover from their addiction. 

People addicted to opioids may be sensitive and have anger management issues, so please try not to lecture or argue with them. Please don’t make them feel guilty about their addiction as much as possible. Instead, make them feel that you are willing to support and be with them every step of the recovery process. 

Most importantly, encourage them to get help. You can calmly discuss how addiction can affect them in the long term. But don’t judge — be as neutral as possible while talking to them. Make them realize that it’s not too late to get help. Treatment programs are available to help them get rid of the substances from their body and begin the recovery process. This may be one of the most challenging steps but don’t give up. If possible, take a specialist to help you convince a loved one to take action. 

How New Method Wellness Can Help Your Loved Ones

Do you have a family member or a friend struggling with opioid addiction? We can help. At New Method Wellness, we’ll provide a safe and comfortable experience to your loved ones while helping them effectively recover from their addiction problem. Our drug detox program is medically supervised to ensure we do it right. Our team will help your loved ones manage their withdrawal symptoms during this program. They will be supervised 24/7 to safeguard them against problems that may need immediate attention. 

Our goal is to help them fully and permanently recover from their addiction so that they can restart their life and be productive. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are more than happy to discuss a treatment program that’s right for your loved ones. Contact us today!