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What are the Symptoms of Opioid Abuse?

Whether an individual is prescribed an opioid or takes them illegally, it is essential to know the symptoms of abuse and what opioid addiction looks like. Opioids are highly addictive and don’t take long to become addicted to when an individual misuses them.

At the Robert Alexander Center, we provide top-notch treatment services in Kentucky to anyone ready to make a change in their life. We are prepared to help clients at any step of the recovery process. Our professional staff is highly-qualified and trained to support clients grow and heal after drug use.

Contact us today to see how our expert care translates to your lasting recovery.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are one of the most commonly addictive prescription pain killers. Often referred to by their specific name, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone, these medications all fall under the drug family, opioids. 

Opioids and opiates, naturally occurring vs. synthetically made, work to alleviate severe pain in patients with many problems ranging from back and knee pain to pain caused by cancer. Opioids work quickly and create a calming high to help individuals heal, rest, and recover from whatever is causing the pain. 

However, when used illegally, this can cause a host of problems. For example, individuals who take opioids illegally, whether to alleviate pain or to get high, most commonly take the opioids heroin and fentanyl. These illegal addictive drugs overwhelm the system and quickly lead to addiction and overdose because they are unregulated and often taken unsafely. 

When opioids are mixed with other drugs, they often become lethal. Opioids and opiates can also become lethal for individuals who misuse their prescription and take too much or take the drug in a not recommended way.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Abuse?

The symptoms of opioid abuse can be easier to identify if you know what to look for. The signs of opioid use are physical, emotional, and social because opioids and opiate addiction impact every area of an individual’s life. 

Physical symptoms of opioid addiction show a slowing of the body’s functions. For example, individuals who use opioids may experience constipation, slowed respiration and heart rate, delays in digestion and processing speed in the brain. As a depressant, opioids work to slow the functions of the body, which can lead to fatality when the physical processes of the body shut down completely. 

You may also notice some emotional symptoms of opioid abuse. Clients may have heightened anxiety, more frequent depressive episodes, thoughts or feelings of suicide, and may react differently in situations than in previous encounters. These feelings of depression are caused by the slowing of the body’s functions. Anger and suicidal thoughts and ideations can be side effects of that depressed feeling. 

Finally, individuals addicted to opioids will experience some social signs of addiction. Individuals abusing opioids will often give up participation in special activities, have significant changes in meaningful relationships, and even be more socially withdrawn due to drug use. Depression caused by opioid use will cause individuals to become less responsible and may make them forget or fail to meet typical responsibilities at home and work. 

What are the Signs of Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioid withdrawal often begins within the first 12-24 hours since the drug was last taken, and the severity of withdrawal depends on the drug taken, how much was taken, and how long the user was taking the drug. Clients who have taken the drug for a more extended amount of time or who have taken the drug with other drugs may have more long-lasting and complex symptoms due to how the drug has impacted the body. 

However, typical symptoms of mild to moderate opioid withdrawal include anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, itching, restless leg movements, and other symptoms concurrent with the flu. While these symptoms of opioid withdrawal don’t sound severe, they should be medically monitored by a professional.

Individuals going through withdrawal should always be under professional care. Doctors, nurses, and trained medical staff can often provide help. Medications are available to speed up withdrawal and decrease the overall adverse side effects. This option is only available under the care of a medical professional.

How to Find Opioid Treatment Programs

Finding an opioid treatment program might seem like a daunting task; however, many individuals can find suitable treatment by searching online or contacting their insurance company for a list of in-network rehabilitative options. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Robert Alexander Center.

At RAC, we offer detoxification, residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment in Kentucky. In addition, our campus boasts comprehensive therapies that improve the holistic health of our clients. By offering several traditional and alternative therapies designed to support individuals going through addiction treatment, we have created a treatment facility focused on the individual and learning the skills to maintain sobriety using sustainable practices and learned techniques. 

Check out our treatment campus today if you’re ready for lasting recovery

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