10 Common Opiate Addiction Symptoms
Opiate addiction is a devastating condition that wreaks havoc on the lives of those who suffer from the disease as well as on the loved ones and family members of those who are addicted. Many of the most common opiate addiction symptoms are easily recognized and yet, close family members and friends often overlook them. Sad but true, opiate addiction symptoms can be right under your nose – and you may not even realize it.
1. Track Marks or Needle Marks
Using opiates, such as heroin or many types of prescription painkillers, intravenously gives way to a visual sign that is not hard to miss. Track marks on the arms, small needle holes and skin infections are all common signs of opiate addiction.
2. Signs of Lethargy
Use of opiates will make the user feel relaxed and essentially lethargic. If you notice a loved one with “heavy” limbs that seem to hang or drag, opiate addiction may be to blame.
3. Disappearing Money
Does someone you love consistently borrow money from you? Disappearing money or a consistent need for more money could be a sign of addiction to drugs.
4. Changes in Personal Appearance
When addiction takes over, the user will generally stop caring for himself as he focuses more of his time on getting high. Changes in personal appearance, wearing long sleeves all the time or not caring for ones self are some common symptoms of opiate addiction.
5. Weight Loss
Opiate addiction will often cause changes in weight. Weight loss is common early on as the user focuses more on getting high and less on eating. Likewise, some people will actually gain weight as a result of using opiates because they become sedentary and less active.
6. Changes in Sleep Habits
Insomnia is common in people who use opiates when they cannot find the drug or don’t have enough of the drug. Likewise, when they are under the influence they may stay up late to party with others and then sleep in during the day.
7. Attitude Changes
You may notice a loved one who is addicted to opiates is happy one minute and miserable the next. Changes in attitude are very common as the user struggles with the desires and cravings to use more drugs.
8. Flu-Like Symptoms
Withdrawal from opiates when they are not being used are a very common symptom of addiction. According to the US National Library of Medicine, oftentimes, withdrawal will resemble flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever and bone pain.
An increased tolerance is a very common symptom of opiate addiction that isn’t necessarily noticed by an outsider but should be noticed by the user. It will take more of the drug to produce the same effects as the body develops a resistance or tolerance to the drug use.
10. Lack of Control
Opiate addiction leads to a general lack of control over the amount of drugs being used. The individual may promise to cut back or not to use and then resort right back to the drug use despite the promises.