The first step towards treatment of an opioid addiction is confirming that the dependency exists. One of the best ways to accomplish this objective is by discerning whether the symptoms of addiction are present. Symptoms can be psychological, behavioral, and physical.
Here are several of them:
- Poor coordination
- Slow or shallow breathing rate
- Physical agitation
- Abandoning responsibilities
- Poor decision making
- Sleeping less or more than normal
- Slurred speech
- Euphoria (feeling high)
- Mood swings
- Anxiety attacks
- Lowered motivation
In addition to recognizing the symptoms of opioid addiction, it’s important to realize when someone has had an overdose.
Some of the overdose symptoms include:
- Slow, erratic breathing
- No breathing at all
- Slow, irregular pulse
- No pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Constricted pupils
If you believe that someone has undergone an opioid overdose, call the police immediately.
Causes & Risk Factors for Opioid Addiction
To understand the basis of opioid addiction, you must first grasp the principle of drug tolerance. Drug tolerance transpires when the body becomes acclimated to the effects of a specific drug. Once this process takes place, you may feel the need to consume a higher dosage of the medication to experience the same result. For example, individuals who use an opioid for an extended period will often need more of the drug to feel the same sense of relief from pain.
One of the risk factors that result from opioid use is drug dependence. Drug dependence transpires when the body’s mode of operating is altered as a result of ongoing drug use. The body becomes acclimated to performing with the drug. Therefore, ceasing to use the substance can result in withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can be severe or mild. They can include fatigue, insomnia, pain, shaking, diarrhea, chills, nausea, vomiting, or sweating.