Unfortunately, dealing with pain is sometimes a part of life that we must all endure. Considering that, it’s understandable that someone can be prescribed pain medication in order to seek temporary relief from what is causing them to hurt. Sometimes those who begin taking opiates can become addicted to these substances. In fact, statistics gathered from 2016 found that 11.5 million people in the United States age 12 and older misused their respective prescription pain medications throughout the year. With that in mind, here are four signs that someone you know might potentially be addicted to opiates.
- Slurred Speech
One sign that someone is living with an addiction to opiates is if they have trouble speaking properly. Many opiates are known to contain ingredients that make it hard for someone to speak or perform certain activities in a normal manner. Therefore, you’ll commonly find that a side effect of someone abusing pain medication is if they are unable to speak clearly. Many drug addition centers treat patients who enter the facilities with extremely slurred speech.
- Increased Drowsiness
Another sign that someone is abusing pain medication is if they always seem to be drowsy. For instance, you might notice that someone who continues to use this type of medication always appears sleepy or even nods off at random times throughout the day. If you notice that someone you love is sleeping constantly, it might be time to begin considering drug abuse treatment.
- Needle Marks Usually on Arms or Legs
You might think that opiates are only available in pill form. That being said, there are many types of ways that someone can get opiates into their bloodstream. One especially dangerous method is by using a needle to inject opiates directly into the body. Statistics gathered from 2016 found that there were 42,249 deaths that occurred in that year alone due to opioid overdoses. Many drug rehabilitation centers have treated those who have misused opiates whether that be done through taking a pill or using a needle. If you suspect someone might be abusing opiates, try to see if you can detect any small marks on the arms or legs of the person in question.
- Engaging in Doctor Shopping
Many drug addition centers have treated people who engage is what as known as doctor shopping. The act of doctor shopping simply means visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain prescriptions. This occurs when someone’s main doctor will not continue to prescribe them pain medication or will help them seek alternative ways to treat their pain. In many cases, someone who has become addicted will opiates will stop seeing their own doctors in favor of new physicians who don’t know what they’re trying to get away with.
To summarize, there are several signs to watch for when suspecting that someone is addicted to opiates. Many people who continually misuse opiates will have trouble speaking properly. Another sign of opiate addiction is if someone has trouble staying awake or falls asleep during inappropriate times. Many who begin misusing opiates can end up beginning to take other types of drugs. Opiates can be taken either through an injection or by consuming a pill. Considering that, it’s wise to casually check the arms or legs of someone you suspect might have an opiate addiction to detect the presence of needle marks. Lastly, a major red flag that someone is addicted to opiates is if they begin seeing multiple doctors at a fast rate. It’s wise to utilize drug addition centers in order to help someone kick their habit to opiates for good.