When people envision someone suffering from drug addiction, they often picture someone homeless or otherwise living in extreme poverty. The truth is a little more complicated. The ongoing opioid addiction epidemic includes a wide swath of individuals living in communities far removed from the big city environments we associate with hard drug use. With this in mind, those who think they don’t have to worry about themselves or someone they love getting addicted to drugs should think again.
The article aims to break down the signs and treatment options of opioid addiction:
Warning Signs of Pain Pill Abuse
Opioid addiction, like any other manifestation of drug and alcohol abuse, comes with telltale signs that something negative may be occurring in someone’s life. Although each case of addiction is unique to the individual, a checklist that you can use to evaluate the person in question can be found below:
A sudden change in their social circle
Unnatural eating and consumption patterns
Irritability and sudden rage
Financial issues and impulsive spending
Large mood fluctuations
Inability to maintain a schedule
Lack of interest in tasks that were once enjoyable
Petty theft and stealing
Antisocial behavior and reclusive habits
The opioid treatment process starts by acknowledging the warning signs listed above and communicating with the person in question. Are they willing to seek addiction treatment for their habits? Do they openly talk about their addiction, or do they shy away when confronted? Can they admit that their use of certain medications has become troublesome and lend itself to abuse? Once a clear path of communication has been established about the issue at hand, the healing process can begin and the individual can seek professional treatment. Many individuals have died as a result of opioid overdose — don’t become another statistic.
Upon inquiring about rehabilitation, the first step for effective recovery is a period of time where the individual will detoxify their system. For most individuals, this period is rather quick as most medications have a short half-life; meaning the medication will leave their system within a week and the withdrawal period will be short lived. This detoxification period is made easier with certain medications (Methadone and Buprenorphine) that target the transitional symptoms and make it more tolerable for the patient.
From here, therapists will use a combination of behavioral changes and treatments that are designed to restructure the patient’s lifestyle. This may be some as simple as talk therapy, or drastically reformatting the patient’s daily routine to ensure sobriety becomes apart of their everyday life. Regardless of which approach is used, the main goal is to keep the individual happy, healthy, productive and using each minute of their day to stay busy and avoiding their drug of choice.
Rather you’re a parent or guardian of someone that is under the control of addiction, or you see a friend or coworker that needs your help, start now. The longer you wait, the stronger the grip of addiction becomes. Let that individual know that their life, health and well being is important and you’re there to help them. When the time is ready and the individual no longer wants to be controlled by opioids, seek out professional help to eliminate this vice from their life.