Opioids can be easy to get addicted to. This guide will discuss how an addiction will start. We will discuss misuse, what happens when you get addicted, and show you alarming trends involving opioids.
This title should not be confused as something that encourages opioid use. We state this in a context of how it’s developed. We encourage you to never abuse opioids and to use them properly if prescribed by a doctor.
If you or someone you know that is addicted to opioids, get help as soon as possible. For more information, visit Absolute Awakenings at their website: absoluteawakenings.com. Let’s dive deeper into the topic on opioid addiction.
Table of Contents
Opioid misuse: How it starts?
Opioid misuse begins when someone is using prescription drugs that contain the ingredient. At the outset, it’s prescribed with the intention to treat pain associated with chronic medical conditions. Doctors believe they are prescribing these medications under the pretense that they are used properly.
However, more than one-quarter of people every year will end up abusing opioid prescription drugs. This will usually begin with a person upping their dosage without prior approval from a doctor. Typically this will happen if they reach a high enough tolerance to the drug.
The common thing would be to ask their doctor. However, they would make the mistake of not doing so. They will abuse opioids by taking it at irregular times or even up the dose without direction from a doctor.
When it becomes an addiction
This vicious cycle will continue when they continue to build an even greater tolerance. Soon, it will get to the point where you will need more of the drug. That’s when the doctor will begin to notice some irregularities.
They may see a red flag and begin to ask questions. For example, why is someone taking more of their prescribed drug without prior consent from a doctor? They may even outright refuse a refill at that point and consider other alternatives.
That’s when a person will ‘doctor shop’ in an effort to acquire more of the prescription drug. They may even reach a point where desperation will kick in. This may include acquiring the drug through illegal means such as stealing from friends or family.
They may even illegally purchase opioid medication from someone who may be selling it on the street. Addiction can reach levels to where a person may behave a certain way. They may also be able to find heroin since it’s a cheaper and easily accessible option.
Heroin is more potent than opioid prescription pills. Plus, if you overdose too much you can even suffer fatal consequences. Yes, you can also die from an overdose using opioid prescriptions, however the chances are far greater with heroin given the nature of how it’s taken in (injection, snorting, etc.)
Signs of opioid addiction
The following are common signs of opioid addiction. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Loss of appetite (associated with nausea and stomach issues)
- Loss of weight
- Flu-like symptoms that occur frequently
- Loss of control
- Change in sleep habits
- Financial difficulties
- Not taking good care of yourself hygienically
- Cravings that will be difficult to control
These are just some of the common signs of opioid addiction regardless if you have abused pills or heroin. You may take an appearance that will look almost gaunt (due to weight loss). If you notice these signs in someone, it’s important to get them the help they need whenever the opportunity arises.
If you are dealing with these signs yourself, you’ll want to make the change to get help as soon as possible. Don’t take it as a sign of weakness. But rather, getting help is a sign of strength. Opioid addiction can be deadly and you can deal with fatal consequences if you consume enough of the drug itself.
Trends on opioids
The opioid crisis has been ongoing for many years. The start of it may have begun as early as 1999 with the increased number of prescription opioid drugs. Since then, many patients prescribed these types of drugs would soon abuse it.
They would soon be turned away with another prescription. Without any other choice, they would find heroin as a reliable alternative. While heroin did account for a small percentage of opioid deaths over the years, deaths related from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have far surpassed heroin and prescription opioids combined.
Opioid deaths have sharply increased (including heroin) from 2010 onward. However, heroin related deaths have slightly decreased from 2020, but still remain much higher in numbers compared to the last two decades. Of the 40 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in recent years, more than three-quarters of it involved opioids of any kind.
Likewise, fentanyl has become more common as a mix with heroin. A small trace will be enough to kill an individual. A small sandwich bag may be enough to kill hundreds of thousands or even a million people at once.
The opioid crisis continues on and law enforcement and communities will try their best to ensure no one dies from another overdose. Distribution continues on and more people are seeking opioids to acquire that quick high.
Opioids are potent and have proved that you can face fatal consequences even if you try it for the first time.
Opioid addiction is one thing that no one should have to deal with. The withdrawal symptoms are among the most serious (and can be fatal). Even an overdose can be fatal most of the time.
Those who survive an opioid overdose may even deal with long-lasting adverse effects. If you or someone you know is dealing with an opioid addiction, get help as soon as possible. Know that you are not alone and your life depends on this crucial decision.
You must find out where you can get help nearest you. When you look back in the future, you’ll be happy that you made the right call for yourself and your family.
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