Signs Of Opiate Abuse

An opiate is a class of drugs meant to relieve pain. Opiates include opium, codeine, heroin and morphine. Prescription drug abuse has become a growing problem. Statistics and signs of opiate abuse in the US show that abuse of these drugs is increasing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that over 37 percent of adults above the age of 18 years have struggled with opiate addiction. There is also a gender disparity when it comes to opiate abuse. It is estimated that 49 percent of men and 26 percent of women misuse these drugs. Statistics also indicate that adults below the age of 30 have a higher prevalence rate which is at 29 percent. People with multiple health conditions and taking different drug prescriptions are at risk of becoming addicted or misusing drugs.

Risk factors of prescription drug misuse include:

  • Past or present addiction to alcohol or other substances
  • Young age especially those in their teenage years
  • Exposure to a social environment where drug abuse is prevalent
  • Ease of access to prescription drugs; for instance, working in a chemist or health care unit
  • Pre-existing conditions such as depression
  • Lack of knowledge concerning prescription drug abuse

Opiate use leads to addiction and dependence. There are signs of opiate abuse one can pick up on to determine if a problem does exist.

These include:

Mood Symptoms

  • Hyperactivity
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Depressed mood
  • Poor decision making

Behavioral Signs Of Opiate Abuse

  • Socially withdrawn
  • Diminished coordination
  • Slurred or slowed speech
  • Lack of interest even in activities that one used to enjoy before
  • Stealing and other illegal activities
  • Extreme change in behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Illusions or distorted perceptions
  • Anxiety

Physical Symptoms

  • Itchy skin
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Cramping
  • Recurring headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Sweating
  • Constipation

The road to recovery begins when one admits that they have a problem and these signs of opiate abuse are indicators that one needs help. There are numerous treatment methods and facilities available; however, inpatient or residential rehab centers have proven to be the gold standard.

Benefits Of Inpatient Treatments

The most crucial benefit of enrolling in residential rehab is when you give yourself what you need most to recover – time and focus. The approach used by inpatient rehab facilities begins with detoxification. This is way better than attempting to quit “cold turkey.” The rehab facility assists patients in dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. This significantly increases the chance of success.

Inpatient rehab facilities enroll people from different areas. Patients are able to go through treatment in groups and this gives them morale and encouragement that they are not alone.

Enrolling in a residential rehab facility immediately takes the patient out of the enabling environment. Contrary to common belief, the desire for substance abuse does not just happen. There are specific triggers such as sight, smell and sound. An inpatient rehab center eliminates these triggers and patients are able to focus on recovering.

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