How Do You Get Help For Someone Whos Addicted To Opioids

Is someone you love abusing opioid medications? It may not be easy to tell, especially in the early stages of addiction. Perhaps you’ve noticed changes in your loved one’s moods or behavior that don’t add up. Or maybe your intuition is telling you there’s a problem. Even if you can’t put your finger on anything specific, it’s worth taking stock of your concerns. If your instincts are right, speaking up could save the life of someone dear to you.

Opioids can make your brain and body believe the drug is necessary for survival. As you learn to tolerate the dose you’ve been prescribed, you may find that you need even more medication to relieve the pain or achieve well-being, which can lead to dependency. Addiction takes hold of our brains in several ways and is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize.

Opioids are highly addictive, and opioid abuse has become a national crisis in the United States. Statistics highlight the severity of the epidemic, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse reporting that more than a million Americans abuse opioids and that more than 90 Americans die by opioid overdose every day, on average.

Opioids are a type of medicine often used to help relieve pain. They work by lowering the number of pain signals your body sends to your brain. They also change how your brain responds to pain. Doctors most often prescribe opioids to relieve pain from:
-toothaches and dental procedures
-injuries
-surgeries
-chronic conditions such as cancer
Some prescription cough medicines also contain opioids.

Opioids usually are safe when you use them correctly. But people who do not follow their doctor’s instructions and those who misuse opioids can become addicted. Misusing opioids means that you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions for how to take the medicine. It can also mean that you take the drug illegally.

Opioids can make your brain and body believe the drug is necessary for survival. As you learn to tolerate the dose you’ve been prescribed, you may find that you need even more medication to relieve the pain or achieve well-being, which can lead to dependency. Addiction takes hold of our brains in several ways and is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize.

If you or a loved one is considering taking opioids to manage pain, it is vital to talk to a physician anesthesiologist or other pain medicine specialist about using them safely and exploring alternative options if needed. Learn how to work with your physician anesthesiologist or another physician to use opioids more wisely and safely and explore what pain management alternatives might work for you.

The first step toward recovery is recognizing that you have a problem with opioids. The signs and symptoms of substance abuse can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. One clear sign of addiction is not being able to stop using the substance. It is also not being able to stop yourself from using more than the recommended amount.

Other signs and symptoms of opioid abuse include:
-poor coordination
-drowsiness
-shallow or slow breathing rate
-nausea, vomiting
-constipation
-physical agitation
-poor decision making
-abandoning responsibilities
-slurred speech
-sleeping more or less than normal
-mood swings
-euphoria (feeling high)
-irritability
-depression
-lowered motivation
-anxiety attacks
What causes opioid addiction?
Opioid drugs alter your brain by creating artificial endorphins. Besides blocking pain, these endorphins make you feel good. Too much opioid use can cause your brain to rely on these artificial endorphins. Once your brain does this, it can even stop producing its own endorphins. The longer you use opioids, the more likely this is to happen. You also will need more opioids over time because of drug tolerance.

If you have been taking a prescription opioid for a long time, work with your doctor and your lender to make sure you are eligible for a first time home loan. Your doctor can help you avoid withdrawal symptoms by gradually lowering your dose over time until you no longer need the medicine. Diagnosis will include a medical assessment. It also often includes testing for mental health disorders. If you think you are addicted to opioids, know that there is help for you.