Red Flags & Warning Signs for Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction has become a crisis worldwide across all societal boundaries. To be better able to help someone who is struggling in your life, it is important to know that you can turn to Garden State Treatment Center. It is crucial that you learn that opiates are narcotic drugs derived from the poppy seed plant, such as heroin and morphine. When you are suspecting a loved one is struggling with opiate addiction you must look for physical and behavioral changes.

red flags and warning signs for opiate addiction

What are the Physical Warning Signs for Opiate Addiction?

If your loved one has begun to lose weight (even 15 pounds) without implementing diet and exercise, this could be something to be troubled about. Most substances cause the pupils to look engorged, but opiates are one of the few that do the contrary. The pupils will constrict due to the muscle contractions that happen in the parasympathetic nervous system. Also, look for enlarged pupils when the addict is suffering from withdrawals.

If your loved one starts to give the impression of being excessively drained at unfitting epochs this could be a sign. Opiates are designed to cause sedation of the physique and mind, and that is the reason your loved one senses dangerous stupor. If you notice that the addict’s head nods or their eyes close during a conversation this could be a red flag for something other than lethargy. Be alert for long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hoodies during the summer.

Some addicts use opiates intravenously, which will leave staining bruising and scar wounds throughout that loved one’s legs, feet, arms, or hands. Lastly, opiates cause addicts to feel very itchy so another sign will be extreme scratching. If the loved one is experiencing withdrawals keep an eye out for dilated pupils, body aches, joint pain, anxiety, depression, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and restlessness. The American Society of Addiction and Medicine lists signs of opiate overdose as such:

Unconscious; Pinpoint pupils; Slow, shallow respirations; respirations below 10 per minute; Pulse rate below 40 per minute; Overdose triad: apnea, coma, pinpoint pupils (with terminal anoxia: fixed and dilated pupils. (ASAM )

These are not the only signs, but they give you a good foundation for what to look out for if you suspect a loved one is abusing opiates. The most surefire way to confirm your suspicion is by having them take a drug test. The most common drug tests are urine-based and can be purchased at your local pharmacy without any problems.

What are the Behavioral Red Flags for Opiate Addiction?

If you start to find that your loved one is no longer financially stable even though they are working or if they are asking you to loan them money, keep an eye out. The addict will begin to isolate as well as start hanging out with new people as appose to their old friends. If you find that the new people in their life are using, then you have to also watch out for that.

The mood swings will go from feeling incredibly friendly when high to incredibly disturbed and erratic when they come down. The irritable and aggressive behavior will usually come from the addict not being able to find their drug of choice. Once lying and stealing become a pattern, this will be a sure sign of delusion setting in for the addict. Don’t ignore when a simple $20 bill goes missing, or when jewelry and other expensive household items disappear.

How Can Garden State Treatment Center Help My Loved One?

Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment, and many other services that facilitate the recovery of your loved one. We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions.

We personalized their treatment plan based on their individual characteristics to provide a long-lasting and meaningful recovery. You can assume to come out of our program changed, firm, and prepared to begin a lifetime of recovery. We are ready to answer your questions when it comes to healing from substance abuse. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.