Do you know the signs of opioid abuse? Few people know what to expect when someone they love starts using opioids. You pick up on slight changes in their behavior, or maybe you notice shifting priorities. Whatever changes you sense, you need to get to know the signs of painkiller use so you can identify them when your loved one needs help.

Signs of Opioid Abuse Sweep Across the U.S.

signs of opioid abuse the hills treatment centerDuring the 1990s, doctors started prescribing more and more opioid pain relievers. The pharmaceutical companies pushed these prescriptions as being safe and the solution to a wide range of injury, surgical, and chronic pain problems. Little did doctors know the true impact ahead of their decision to expose more patients to these dangerous drugs.

By the year 2000, prescription painkiller abuse started rising significantly. Midway to 2010, the U.S. government called this an opioid epidemic. Today, we all hear of this epidemic that shows no signs of improving. Maybe someone you love now knows the true addictive nature of these drugs.

Opioids include a variety of drugs. Natural opiates come from opium of the poppy plant. Opioids include drugs made to mimic the effects of opiates. However, most people categorize these drugs all in one group, both natural and man-made. Opioids include:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine

These drugs all provide the same high, side effects, and addictive qualities. They also all lead to deadly overdose when people using them take too much or abuse them for too long. Addiction comes quickly with opioids, and prescription painkiller abuse can often lead to a heroin abuse problem. That is why you need to know the signs of opioid abuse: to help your loved one avoid becoming part of the opioid epidemic.

Signs of Opioid Abuse

Many signs of opioid abuse exist. These include changes to your loved one’s behaviors and appearance. Some signs also include immediate side effects of the drugs or even potentially deadly overdose.

Starting with the most common physical and behavioral signs of opioid abuse, watch for an excess of prescription pill bottles, tiny baggies, or miniature envelopes. Pay attention to your loved one’s pupil size and sleep habits. Do they fall asleep at unusual times, like during meals, in public, or throughout the day?

Is your loved one’s skin itchy and flushed? Have they stopped enjoying their favorite activities, choosing instead to spend time alone? Do you notice sudden, dramatic mood swings they never displayed before? Maybe your friend or relative acts impulsively or makes quick, erratic decisions.

Does this person take risks, like driving while intoxicated or drugged? Do they visit multiple doctors for the same type of painkiller prescriptions? Are they out of pain drugs before the prescription notes they should?

Do you notice odd symptoms after they take a pill, inject, or inhale their drug? Look for these signs, such as slowed breathing, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Also, look for weight loss, hallucinations, euphoria, and lightheadedness. Do they obsess over their drug, seeking more as a priority over enjoying loved ones or events?

Finally, identifying your loved one’s drug abuse is never easy. However, doing so gives you the chance to get them the help they need. Through this help, they have a real chance for the life they deserve. Otherwise, they head directly toward opioid overdose.

Help for Opioid Addiction in the Hollywood Hills

In the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, The Hills Treatment Center provides help for opioid addiction. This luxury, private estate property once owned by celebrities gives you or the person you love the time, space, treatment, therapies, and support needed to end opioid addiction.

Programs of The Hills include:

At The Hills, you or your loved one gain the real chance for a better life that you deserve. Move beyond the signs of opioid abuse to real action for healthy change. Call The Hills Treatment Center at 866-323-4665 now.