Watching yourself or a loved one struggle with opioid abuse can be extremely painful. However, it isn’t always easy to know when you have a problem if you are caught up in the midst of addiction. Understanding the signs of opioid addiction can help you identify whether or not it’s time to seek help.

If you have found yourself asking questions about your relationship with opioids then it might be time to seek outside help from an opioid rehab program.

What are Opioids?

Opioids belong to a highly addictive class of drugs derived from the poppy plant. Most often, opioids are prescribed by doctors as painkillers – but they’re definitely nothing like Extra Strength Tylenol.[1] Anyone who takes an opioid, even when prescribed, is at risk of developing a dependency on the drug.

Addiction to opioids can affect your relationships with friends and family, your career, your academic performance, your physical health, and ultimately could cost you your life.

But how do you know if you have a problem and need to seek treatment for opioid addiction?

Here are 6 signs of opioid addiction and that it’s time for you to seek help from an opioid rehab center.

1. You’re Hiding Your Opioid Use From Friends And Family

Lying about your drug use or hiding it from the people in your life could be signs of opioid addiction and that it’s time to seek help. Addiction is an insidious disease that seeks to isolate you from your friends and family.

You might find that you have the urge to make excuses for your drug use when caught, or you may be successfully hiding it altogether. Perhaps you’re “losing” your prescriptions in order to get more, or you’re scrambling to cover up how your drug use is affecting your academic performance. Whatever the case, secret-keeping is sure to put a strain on your relationships and cause feelings of shame that could increase your desire to use.

2. You’re Taking a Higher Dose to Feel The Same Effects

Generally, opioids are not considered an effective or safe option for the long-term management of pain. This is because over time, you will build up a tolerance to opioids and you will need to continuously up your dose in order to feel the effects.

As you increase your dose, your risk of dependency increases as does your risk of side effects and overdose. If you have found that your tolerance to opioids has increased then it is likely time to find an alternative way to manage your physical or emotional pain.

3. You’re Depressed or Have Lost Interest in Your “Old Life”

As your tolerance to opioids increases, so too does your body’s ability to feel good without opioids. Endorphins are one of the body’s “happiness hormones,” responsible for the feeling of pleasure that many get when using opioids. Over time, your brain’s ability to naturally produce these vital feel-good hormones decreases until eventually, your body needs the opioids in order to regulate.

If you have noticed that you no longer get joy from the things that you were once passionate about, then you may be experiencing one of the signs of opioid addiction. These feelings can manifest as a generally depressed mood when sober, a lack of motivation, or a disinterest in old hobbies, your career, schoolwork, even in friends and family.

4. You’ve Started to Experience Withdrawal Symptoms Between Doses

Taking opioids for an extended period of time can lead to physical dependency. This dependency will also produce physical effects, known as withdrawal symptoms, that occur when you stop taking opioids. Common symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:[2]

  • Increased pain
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
  • Uncontrollable cravings

The time it takes to form a physical dependence on opioids varies from person to person but it can happen within two weeks of use. These symptoms can be demoralizing and hard to weather on your own, but an opioid detox center can help you manage them safely.

5. Your Loved Ones are Concerned About Your Opioid Use

Even when you try to hide your drug use, the people around are likely to notice a change in you as the addiction worsens. If the people in your life have voiced concern about your drug use, it’s important to pause and evaluate your relationship with opioids. Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize changes in your own behavior but the people who love you are attuned to your needs and wellbeing and may see things that you can’t. One of the tell-tale signs of opioid addiction is having friends and family who are concerned about you.

Your girlfriend may note that you’ve been more irritable than usual, or your boss is worried about a decline in your work performance, or maybe you’ve been told outright by someone who loves you that your drug use is problematic. You should reflect on the input of the people who value you and want to see you well. Chances are, if they’ve noticed a change in you then it’s likely that opioids are having a significant effect on you and your behavior.

6. You Have Tried and Failed to Quit on Your Own

Maybe you have noticed the adverse effects of your opioid use on your life so you tried to quit on your own. Whether you tried to wean off of opioids slowly or attempted to go “cold turkey,” this was likely incredibly challenging.

While your efforts are very admirable it’s important to recognize your own limitations. The physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal can feel crippling, especially when you’re still expected to manage the everyday stressors of your life on top of those symptoms.

Setting yourself up for success when you attempt to quit means seeking a team of experienced professionals who can help alleviate some of the distress you feel as you quit.

opioid addiction

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

Find Help From an Opioid Rehab Center in Massachusetts Today

If you think that you are addicted to opioids, it is important that you receive help and support throughout your recovery. Alone, quitting opioids seems like an insurmountable task but with the help of a comprehensive rehab program like ours at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment recovery is possible. Our Opioid Rehab Program is highly individualized with varying levels of care dependent upon your specific needs ranging from Day Treatment to an Intensive Outpatient Program. Our team can provide you with the tools you need to recover now and to maintain your recovery for years to come. Call now to get started.


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