Top Warning Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse

 Top Warning Signs of Prescription Opioid Abuse

The most important thing about the dangers of taking prescription opiates for pain is that people do not recognize the signs of addiction. Those suffering from prescription pain should be on the watch out for changes in their body chemistry as well as any physical symptoms they may experience. In most cases, the signs of prescription opiate addiction are easy to recognize. They include: difficulty in controlling pain, a constant need for the drug, problems with weight or appetite, and increased risk of developing infections due to heroin use. If someone you know exhibits one or more of these symptoms, it is time to get help for the addiction.

Doctors treat prescription pain killers like they do other medications that have both abuse potential and real medical benefits. People who take prescription opiates for pain often become dependent upon them. This means that without taking the drug, they are weakened and can suffer ill effects. If an addict continues to take the prescribed amount of the drug after becoming dependent, this will lead to withdrawal and possible relapse. Doctors are not very clear on how opiods become habit forming, but some research has shown that genetics and early developmental experiences can contribute to a drug user's addiction to prescription opiates.

Because prescription opiates are highly addictive, they are highly regulated. Each medication has a different amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the main active ingredient. Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and inhalants all contain higher levels of THC than most prescription opiates. People become addicted to these drugs because their body craves the high that is offered by the opiate. When a person reaches their physiological peak, however, they may experience extreme cravings for the drug and require more to relieve their symptoms.

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Other signs that may indicate addiction are: tolerance, where the individual tends to need more of the drug to feel the same level of pleasure from having the opiate, insomnia, or severe pain when the opiate is used without consulting with a medical professional first. Many times people who abuse opiates will reach for the drug when experiencing discomfort. This is not always a good thing. Instead of feeling comfort, they are getting the chemical rush that they are seeking.

An individual may also turn to other drugs of abuse to alleviate the discomfort from their addiction. These other substances include alcohol or other opioids, such as oxycodone and morphine. It is also possible for an opiate addict to begin taking additional medications to replace the opiate once they have gone off of the opiate. This can result in an Opiate overdose which can be fatal.

Although the symptoms of an addiction may vary from one person to another, there are common signs that can be shared among those suffering from an addiction. Most addicts will exhibit a decreased interest in normal activities. They may start to spend a great deal of time sitting or lying down, and then start to increase this number during the day. When lying down is the addiction habit, this change can also cause exhaustion to set in because of the lack of physical activity.

An addiction is also evident by changes in sleep patterns. People who become dependent on a drug do not have good restful sleep. If they do sleep well, it is usually short durations of sleep and then long periods of napping.

Dependence on a drug often produces feelings of depression and anxiety. An individual suffering from an addiction may feel like they are fighting an uphill battle against the pain, even though they are getting the prescription that they have been prescribed for the prescribed pain. Opiate dependency produces a sense of psychological cravings, resulting in users wanting more of the drug that creates the initial relief. This increases the risk of overdose, which may result in death if it is not treated. If an individual is concerned about whether or not they have a prescription for a specific pain medication, they should speak to their doctor or health care provider.

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