It can be difficult to recognize addiction in ourselves or a loved one. Because every addiction story is unique, no experience directly follows a textbook definition of substance use disorder. Opiate and opioid drug dependence can begin in a number of ways. For some, opioid or opiate use begins recreationally. For others, it may begin with a well-meaning prescription from a licensed and trusted physician. Whatever the cause, addiction can cause confusion, anxiety, and a desire to fix the situation.
The good news is that addiction truly is a treatable disease. Drug abuse changes the physical function of the brain, and it takes medical attention to bring back a functional level of sobriety. Regardless of the reason substance use began, the right professionals and personalized guidance and treatment will greatly increase your chances of success.1
Opiate and opioid addiction is known to change moods, behaviors and even temporarily change personality.
Addicted individuals may lie or even steal in order to get what they want to satisfy what the brain tells them they need. Even prescription opiate addictions, which often begin with legal prescriptions, may deteriorate into using the drugs other than intended, which constitutes illegal activity.
The following are some symptoms of opiate abuse:
- Loss of ability to feel pain
- Feelings of euphoria
- Dilation of the pupils
- Poor judgement abilities, confusion
Both inpatient and outpatient services are useful in treating addiction, but each individual case will vary as to which is advisable. Some people must be removed from their own environment to get treatment, but this is not always the case. Especially if there is a strong support system at home, some people are able to stay in their home with their families while getting professional help through scheduled and regular appointments. In each treatment form, patients will be comforted as they pass through any withdrawal symptoms in the initial stage of addiction treatment, detoxification. Withdrawal from opioids after a long period of abuse will likely bring an onset of the following symptoms:
- High level of irritability
- Rapid rate of breathing
- Cramps in the abdominal area
- State of confusion
- Tremors, shaking
- Salivating uncontrollably
Addiction is sometimes accompanied by a mental Illness. Sometimes, the addicted person develops an illness, for example anxiety disorder, as a result of his or her addictive thought processes or behavior. Other times, addiction comes from a misguided or failed attempt to manage the symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness. Integrated, holistic treatment will treat both conditions and help with therapeutic and meditative restoration along with medical treatment. Individualized treatment plans can offer a specialized approach to treat a variety of symptoms in one location.2
The physical changes that happen within the brain during addiction impact all areas of a person’s life. If you have seen a loved one fall victim to addiction, then it may seem as if your loved one has changed into a completely different person. Your loved one may be making risky decisions, and perhaps you find it difficult to work around his or her emotions and reasoning patterns. Quality treatment often offers support and counseling for families, and inpatient treatment offers dedicated assistance and follow-up planning and care for each patient before discharge.
Prescription opioid addiction is a growing crisis in this country and most insurance providers will cover or help cover treatment. Talk to the treatment facility today to find out if services can be covered by your insurance.
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction. Found online 2/12/16 at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction.
2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) Opioid Addiction. Found online 2/12/16 at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/pharmacotherapies.