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Signs You are Abusing Opioids

One of the most common substance abuse is opioid abuse becoming a national issue in the United States. More than 2 million Americans have an opioid abuse problem and an average of 90 Americans die because of opioid overuse daily.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are drugs found in the opium poppy plant that can have several effects on the brain, including pain relief. They are referred to as opioid painkillers and are efficient pain relievers prescribed by doctors. However, opioids are not only the prescription painkillers found in pharmacies; they can also be illegal narcotics like heroin.

Opioid Abuse

Doctors generally prescribe opioids to alleviate pain, but their relaxing effect can lead to a dependency or addiction, called the “opioid use disorder”. These prescribed drugs can lead to a future of addiction and need to be taken carefully as per the doctor’s prescription.

What can Cause Opioid Abuse?

Opioid drugs can convince both your body and brain that it is needed for survival. As your body learns to accept the prescribed amount and experience pain relief, the brain can grow to believe that it requires more drugs to ease the pain more. This can ultimately lead to reliance on opioid drugs.

Signs of Opioid Abuse

One of the most common signs of opioid abuse is taking the prescription more frequently or in bigger doses than what has been prescribed. Continued opioid misuse can lead to a spiraling addiction that is difficult to overcome without the assistance of medical experts in treatment. The signs of opioid abuse can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. Some of the signs include:

Physical Signs

  • Getting constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow or shallow breathing rate
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Experiencing the loss of coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Dilated pupils

Psychological and Behavioral Signs

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Financial issues
  • Insomnia
  • Low motivation
  • Bad decision making
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Irresponsible behavior
  • Impulsive actions

Recognizing Opioid Abuse

Realizing and accepting that you might be abusing opioids is a lot more challenging than recognizing a drug addiction. Opioid abuse is the inappropriate use of medications and leads to addiction after continued abuse. This makes it difficult for the recipient to draw a fine line between using medicine and misusing it. If you catch yourself misusing opioids or developing tolerance and dependency on your opioid painkillers, it is in your best interest to seek help as soon as possible. Treatment for opioid abuse can be found at our suboxone clinic in Baltimore. Our Maryland Medication Assisted Treatment and Technology uses buprenorphine medication in Owings Mills to help change your life for the better. If you catch signs of opioid abuse in yourself or a loved one, call to receive immediate assistance from our experienced suboxone doctors in Owings Mills.