How To Know If My Loved One is Addicted to an Opioid

Addiction to any substance is troubling and scary, both for the person who has addiction and their friends and family members. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if someone you love is addicted to drugs or is beginning to abuse drugs — whatever the signs, you might not want to believe it. 

But you don’t have to sit and watch hopelessly while someone you love is struggling with addiction. You’re in a powerful position: you can help them get help. If you believe a family member or friend is addicted to opioids but aren’t quite sure, take a moment to learn the signs of addiction, courtesy here of Dr. Lori Scott, addiction medicine specialist at Lori Scott Family Care

What are opioids?

Opioids are a type of pain reliever. They get their name from opium, a substance found in the poppy plant. Some common opioids you may have heard of include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, and codeine. 

Heroin is an illegal drug, while fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine are all prescription drugs. 

How does someone get addicted to opioids? 

Opioids make changes to the brain that can cause people to become addicted. These drugs are extremely powerful and can make people feel dependent upon them. Anyone who takes opioids, illegal or not, is at risk for developing opioid addiction. It can occur even with short-term use of an opioid. 

Addiction starts out as something that feels pleasurable, and ends up as something you can’t live without. In the case of opioids, the pleasurable thing is the feeling that opioids induce: opioids make people feel relaxed, happy, stress-free, and content. When the effect of a dose wears off, some people find themselves craving that feeling again, and they want it as soon as possible — that’s the gateway to addiction. 

How to tell if someone is addicted to opioids

The signs of opioid addiction vary from person to person, but there are common behaviors and signs among people who are struggling with opioids, including: 

If you think someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, the best thing you can do is to help them get help. Learn more about opioid addiction and treatment options, or book an appointment by calling our Kinston, North Carolina, office at 252-238-7079 or book online today.

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