How Is Your Health?

Signs To Identify An Opioid Addiction In Your Loved One

by Camila Davidson

If you live with someone who takes opioid pain relievers for a serious medical condition, then you should know that the medicine can become habit-forming. In other words, your loved one may develop an opioid addiction. You can and should watch for signs that this is occurring so you can try to get help for your loved one as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn about a few more common signs.

They Are Already Prone To Addictive Behavior

There are many different factors that can leave your loved one susceptible to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Some of these factors, in addition to the use of the pain reliever, can be a major sign of a possible opioid addiction.

Some examples of these factors include a history of taking risks or seeking thrills. If these behaviors involve alcohol or other drugs, then this can increase the addiction tendencies of your loved one. This is also true if they have a family history of addiction or if they experience depression, anxiety, or employment problems. Also, any high-stress living situations, chronic health disorders, and a poor social and family structure can lead to addiction.

Individuals who are in their '20s are more likely to become addicted as well and these individuals generally care less about their overall health than older people. This is especially true if friends and family members are also within the vicinity who abuse drugs and alcohol. 

While many of these factors cannot be eliminated, they can be controlled to reduce the chances of addiction occurring. For example, you can provide a supportive relationship and you can help your loved one seek care for emotional issues like depression.

Mood Changes

Abrupt changes in mood are often noted in individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction. These changes are often the most apparent when it comes to addiction signs. The mood will fluctuate between mellow and complacent to violent, angry, irritable, and depressed. Sometimes, the various swings in mood may be noted over a period of hours as your loved one metabolizes the medication and takes a new dose. 

You also may see some personality changes. For example, your loved one may make excuses for why they need to take more medication than prescribed or they may lie about how much they are actually taking. You also may seem them avoiding family and friends and withdrawing from social activities and gatherings. 

Sleep disturbances that often come with addiction can greatly affect the mood too, so this is something else to look out for.

Seek out professional treatment if you are concerned you or a loved one is suffering addiction.