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Signs Of Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is a beast. The signs of opioid addiction can be easily spotted in most individuals who are struggling. These dangerous drugs can cause changes and wreak havoc on loved ones’ lives who are addicted to them. Knowing what opioids are and how they affect a person can be a catalyst to someone getting the help they need in order to survive addiction to these deadly drugs. 

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a group of powerful drugs that interact and alter the opioid receptors in the brain. These drugs are used to treat pain after surgery and in those who suffer from chronic pain conditions. The effects on the opioid receptors produce a feeling of pain relief to help manage the symptoms. There are two classes of opioids that are widely recognized- prescription opioids and illicit opioids.

Prescription opioids are legally prescribed and obtained through a medical professional, while illicit opioids are obtained illegally on the streets. Examples of opioids include morphine, hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl. Heroin and fentanyl can be illegally manufactured with no regulation on what is going into the drugs, making them extremely dangerous and deadly. How does opioid addiction occur?

Opioid addiction has become a national epidemic, affecting thousands of people on a daily basis across the United States. Addressing opioid addiction as soon as possible can help to prevent some dangerous results. Opioid overdose is a significant factor in many accidental deaths on a daily basis, and getting help for opioid addiction can help to prevent fatal results. 

Short-Term Effects of Opioids

Many of the short-term effects of opioids are related to their pain-relieving effects. Once opioids are taken or administered professionally, they quickly bind to the opioid receptors resulting in some short-term effects. Some of these effects can include:

  • Itching
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Euphoric sensation
  • Sedation
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory depression

These short-term effects, particularly the euphoric feeling, can be sought after feelings when people misuse or abuse opioids. Signs of opioid addiction can be seen when someone is using opioids solely to feel a euphoric feeling or escape from reality. Opioid addiction treatment in Louisville can help those who are struggling to regain control of their life and begin a healthier lifestyle.

A man struggling to recognize the signs of opioid addiction.

Long-Term Effects of Opioids

Long-term opioid addiction is dangerous and complex. It can be devastating to an individual as well as their loved ones. The long-term effects of opioids can also be dangerous. Using opioids can lead to consequences on health, mental health, and overall well-being. Healthwise, opioids can lead to gastrointestinal problems, liver damage, and respiratory issues. Continued and prolonged opioid use can lead to a weakened immune system which can result in infection.

Affecting mental health, opioid use, and abuse can trigger mental health conditions that may not have previously been there. It can also exacerbate existing mental health concerns. Oftentimes, it may feel like using these substances alleviates the symptoms of mental health, however in the long run it will only make the symptoms worse and more prevalent. Using opioids can also lead to cognitive issues. Memory, attention, and decision-making abilities can all be affected by long-term use of opioids.

One of the greatest long-term effects of opioid use and abuse is dependence and addiction. Continued use of these dangerous drugs can build tolerance in users. This can result in needing higher and higher doses in order to achieve the desired effects. When this happens, dependency can develop. Dependency can result in addiction. Signs of opioid addiction can be seen in users’ day-to-day lifestyle, and being able to identify these signs can help loved ones to encourage an individual to seek professional help in order to safely stop using these drugs. 

Signs of Opioid Addiction

The signs of opioid addiction can be easily spotted in loved ones who may be struggling. Watching out for these symptoms can help to identify there is a problem, and lead to encouraging a loved one to seek help before it is too late. Some symptoms to watch out for can include:

  • Increased tolerance
  • Using despite consequences
  • Loss of control over using
  • Obsessing over the substance
  • Drug-seeking behaviors
  • Neglecting family and friends
  • Isolation and social withdrawal
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Needle marks
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Lying about or hiding usage
  • Stealing
  • Issues with law enforcement
  • Risky behaviors
  • Cravings
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Opioid addiction occurs with continued use of the substance. The body becomes dependent on it, and it can be extremely difficult to stop using. When a person abruptly stops using, the body can react in ways that can be extremely uncomfortable for an individual, resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

Knowing The signs of opioid addiction can make a life altering difference.

Opioid Withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal is an extremely uncomfortable thing to go through. It can lead to some severe symptoms that could potentially be life-threatening and opioid addiction treatment in Louisville can help when this occurs. The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include things like muscle aches and cramps, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, insomnia, upset stomach, blood pressure changes, and fever. Being able to properly address these symptoms can make the process of withdrawal easier and more comfortable.

Signs of opioid addiction should be taken seriously and encouraging loved ones to seek professional help as they go through this process can lead to positive outcomes. The severity and length of opioid withdrawal will vary from person to person, and professional monitoring as the process takes place is highly suggested to prevent complications from opioid withdrawal. 


Detox is a necessary step in order to begin recovery from opioid addiction. The process of detox is extremely uncomfortable for people who endure it. This is why it is suggested to be professionally monitored. Being professionally monitored can provide comfort and help individuals who are struggling to be more comfortable going through this process.

Once detox is complete, opioid addiction treatment in Louisville can begin. Going through the different processes of treatment can lead to a solid foundation so that a person can end the use of opioids and maintain recovery. Therapies such as CBT and DBT can help to change the thinking processes that lead to using opioids. Trauma therapy and life skills can help an individual to learn to live life without using opioids. Healing the causes of opioid addiction is crucial to being able to maintain recovery. 

Learning positive and healthy coping skills can help individuals to learn to live without turning to opioids as a means of coping with daily life. It can also help when mental health plays a factor in addiction to these harmful substances. Dual diagnosis treatment can be beneficial when opioid addiction and mental health concerns coexist in the same individual. Addressing both mental health and addiction to opioids can help the person begin living a healthier life.

A man recovering from opioid addiction.

Begin Healing Today

Struggling with opioid addiction can be detrimental to every aspect of a person’s life. Family relationships, friendships, careers, and schooling can all be affected when someone is addicted to these harmful substances. The dangers of opioid addiction can be avoided with professional help.

At Louisville Addiction Center we offer comprehensive and personalized care to those individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction. Our opioid addiction treatment in Louisville can make a meaningful and positive impact on your life. Call us today and begin a journey to living a life in recovery from opioid addiction.

Contact Us

Addiction and co-occurring disorders don’t have to control your life. Louisville Addiction Center is waiting with open arms to give you the tools necessary for lasting change. Reach out to us today to learn more.