Five warning signs of opioid abuse

Opiods are extremely addictive and unfortunately, it is the drug of choice for far too many Americans.

In fact, seven out of 10 overdose deaths involve opiods according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics.

If you’ve noticed changes in a loved one recently and you’re wondering if opiods are to blame, here are some warning signs to look out for.

1) A changing group of friends

No one wants to be seen as a drug addict, so most addicts will attempt to mask their habit  from friends and family. This may cause someone to pull away from the people they love in order to save face.

The deeper someone goes into opioid abuse, the more likely they are to make more personal connections with other users. If you’re observing a change in the people your loved one is associating with, it’s likely that they’re doing so because they can be free to use opioids without being judged or questioned.

2) Ignoring personal hygiene

Many times personal hygiene will take a back seat to opioids because getting high is more important than cleanliness and grooming habits. If you notice that someone is allowing their grooming to go unattended, along with some of these other signs listed, you may want to consider an intervention or just be candid about your concern for their well being.

3) Being overly energetic or lethargic

A common characteristic of being high on opioids is lethargy. When someone is high, they will often appear to be sedated or become extremely tired. You may notice them nodding off in a very unnatural resting position or they may appear to be very drowsy. Sometimes the speech is slurred or incoherent.

Alternatively, some people become very excitable and overly energetic. They may talk a lot or talk fast, jumping from one thought to another in nonsensical ways, and they may also say things that just don’t make any sense at all.

4) Financial hardship

Substance abuse comes with a pretty steep price tag. Not only can it cost relationships, dignity, and freedom, it can also cost a lot of cold, hard cash. It costs money to get high, and drug abusers tend to spend a good deal of money on their habit.

Whether rich or poor, abusing drugs often leads to financial hardship, and sometimes even financial ruin. If your loved one is unable to make ends meet, is asking to borrow money, or even stealing, this may be a sign that their opioid use is out of control and taking over their life.

5) Getting into trouble with the law

Lowered inhibitions and consuming illicit drugs can cause some unwanted or unintended legal troubles. There’s a lot of trouble that substance abusers can find themselves in. And many times the legal issues are unrelated to opioids.

Shoplifting, car theft, assault, and trespassing are just some of the things that can put substance abusers on the wrong side of the law. And although these things aren’t related to drug use, oftentimes these sorts of crimes are related to a person’s drug use. Either they’re high during the commission of these crimes, or they’re committing these crimes in an attempt to secure more drugs.

Opiod addiction is very complex. It has the power to change the chemistry of the brain and cause the body to become dependent on it. Breaking free from opioid abuse isn’t easy and requires a well-rounded approach from a team of professionals, including a therapist and physician.