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The Signs of Opioid Addiction in a Loved One

The idea of a loved one suffering from an opioid addiction frightens those who care about them. Family and friends may suspect someone in their lives has become lost to this illness, but aren’t sure how to tell. Knowing the signs of opioid addiction can help them determine if a problem exists. 

Signs can come in the form of physical and behavioral changes. Some people with substance use disorders also find themselves breaking the law and experiencing legal trouble. If you suspect someone you care about has developed an addiction to opioids, look for some of the following symptoms.

Physical Signs

Individuals suffering from opioid addiction typically exhibit physical manifestations of their illness. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of motor skills
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Decreased libido
  • Itchy skin
  • Pays less attention to hygiene
  • Tiny pupils
  • Track marks or scarring on arms or other places on the body where injections occur

Someone who struggles with opioid abuse likely will display these and maybe other signs of opioid addiction.They may even exhibit temporary withdrawal symptoms during this time. These symptoms show up in a similar form to those of addiction. In addition to those signs, an individual may experience stomach and leg cramps, tremors, and irritability.

Behavioral Signs

While physical signs of addiction to opioids commonly appear, be on the lookout for other signs, too. Often abuse of opioids shows in behavioral changes in a person. These changes may happen fairly quickly or they may occur over a long time period. If a person is unsure about a loved one’s changing behavioral patterns, it can be helpful to consult with others who know them well. Signs of behavioral changes can include:

  • The sensation of euphoria when under the influence
  • Mood swings
  • Combative behavior
  • Dishonest language and behavior
  • Isolating
  • Lost interest in hobbies and activities
  • Taking higher dosages of prescription opioids
  • Taking dosages more often than recommended

How Opioid Addiction Can Result in Legal Troubles

Opioid addiction can directly impact a person’s life when it comes to legal issues. A person lost in the grips of their addiction may resort to desperate behavior in order to get their drugs. This can result in financial problems stemming from prioritizing the purchase of opioids that can bankrupt a person. 

The individual may continuously ask to borrow money from people without a clear way to pay it back. They may incur debt, max out their credit cards, or sell off personal items. Some may become desperate enough to steal from others or businesses.

Some people dealing with opioid addiction resort to “doctor shopping”. This is the act of visiting multiple doctors in an attempt to get several prescriptions for medication. Many patients mistakenly believe each doctor visit is confidential, making this a risk-free activity. Doctor shopping falls under the heading of breaking federal law and can result in arrest and prosecution.

Some people end up resorting to selling drugs in order to satisfy their habit. They may get into the business of selling opioids in order to ensure access to the drugs for themselves. They may also sell other drugs in order to have the money to purchase the opioids to which they have become addicted. 

The legal system typically offers solutions to opioid-related arrests and convictions that revolve mostly around punishment for the crime. Many people who end up in police stations or courtrooms suffer from substance abuse disorders. Offers of treatment for addiction in these cases are not commonplace. This contributes to setting up a cycle in which a person bounces back and forth between jail time and going back to their addiction. These, while highly destructive, are just some of the signs of opioid addiction.

How to Treat Opioid Addiction

Some people begin taking opioid prescription medication for legitimate reasons. Chronic or situational pain necessitates taking opioids for millions. Prescribed usage sometimes morphs into addiction. For others, experimentation with opioids without the benefit of a prescription becomes their pathway to addiction. 

As with addiction to other narcotics, many who develop substance use disorder believe they can control it. A reality check for them means admitting they need professional help in order to stop using opioids. Fortunately, many options for treatment exist. 

An individual might begin with a detoxification program. These programs monitor a person while they detox from addictive substances, providing medical and psychological assistance. Residential programs offer a safe place to begin the true work of recovery. Sober living houses offer a place to reside long-term alongside others who are also working on their recoveries. Benefits of this treatment include allowing residents to accrue time living a sober life before returning to their homes, jobs, and living situations. 

Opioid Addiction Treatment in California

Riviera Recovery offers gender-specific sober living houses in Southern California. We treat young adults who are dealing with substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health issues. Our cozy houses offer the ability to receive 24/7 assistance while you adjust to life without substances. We are pet-friendly and assist with transportation and matching you with additional treatment programs to complement your stay with us.
Reach out to Riviera Recovery now and begin living your life free of addiction.even