Opioids are prescribed to patients who are experiencing severe and debilitating pain from illness or disease or during recovery from surgery. Opioids are extremely effective in relieving pain that over-the-counter and many prescription drugs simply do not work well on. However, with such strength to relieve pain comes a very high risk of dependency. The biggest risk of using opioid medication is the high risk of misuse or abuse of the drug that could lead to addiction.
People engaging in opioid abuse are not bad people. Most are good citizens living highly productive lives who initially take opioids for legitimate reasons. However, once an addiction develops, it is very difficult to wean off the medication on your own.
Here are the top signs of opioid abuse that you should be aware of.
A Growing Dependence on The Drug
Physicians recommend patients slowly wean off prescription opioids as soon as their pain begins to subside. However, not at all patients have straightforward experiences, particularly those with chronic diseases and those who are in palliative care. There is a noticeable lack of control in terms of dosage and frequency of taking the drug in patients who require it’s use long-term.
Weight loss, loss of interest in exercise, and a lack of concern for hygiene and physical appearance are among the top signs of opioid abuse. Part of the progression of opioid addiction is the loss of the characteristics that make a person who they are. Many become unrecognizable to their friends and family. Opioid abuse can also weaken immunity and increase vulnerability to illnesses. People who abuse opioids are often tired and sick.
Addiction to opioids can also negatively affect relationships. Depending on the circumstances, there may be an erosion of trust and lack of communication between the person addicted and their family, friends, and colleagues. As a result, you may notice the drug dependent individual retreating from social gatherings more often, showing less interest in group activities that they previously found enjoyable, and making excuses to avoid meeting. Another side effect of opioid abuse is decreased libido, which affects intimacy and contributes to a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction in romantic relationships.
Compassionate Medical Treatment for Opioid Abuse in Washington and New Mexico
If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of opioid abuse, the best thing to do is immediately seek treatment. Fortunately, opioid addiction is not something anyone has to live with. There are many treatments available that can help you wean off opioids safely and effectively.
At Lynx Healthcare, our compassionate addiction medicine specialists understand the pain, fear, and anxiety that patients with addiction problems and their loved ones feel. Addiction is a disease, and is treated as such in our clinics. We provide comprehensive and highly supportive medical care and treatment within the patient’s biopsychosocial framework.
For a consultation with our physicians, call Lynx Healthcare at (509) 591-0070 or request an appointment today. Our friendly and helpful staff will get back to you quickly.