Opiate addiction, which is also known as opioid use disorder, is a problem that affects millions of ordinary Americans. Many affected by it become addicted through taking medication that was legitimately prescribed by doctors for the alleviation of pain. The symptoms of addiction can be so subtle that you may not even realize that you have a problem.
Here are some symptoms that could indicate that you need to seek treatment for prescription opiate addiction:
1. You Are Not in Control of Your Usage
Prescription opiates are intended to be used for a very specific period. If you are using them beyond the period prescribed by your doctor, you may have a problem. You also may have a problem if you cannot control how much of the pills you take or are unable to cut down their use.
2. The Drugs Are Consuming Your Time
Taking prescription medication should be something that occupies just a small portion of your daily activities. But if large parts of your day are spent looking for the drugs, or if you need lots of time to recover from using them, you may need to seek help. This is especially true if you feel a strong compulsion to use the drugs throughout the course of the day.
3. The Drugs Are Causing You Problems
Those who have become addicted to prescription opiates often find themselves facing a variety of problems. These could be legal problems relating to your behavior when using the drugs, or they could be some kind of social problem. Examples of the latter are serious arguments with family, friends or coworkers. You could also be experiencing physical and mental problems related to the drugs.
4. The Drugs Are Changing Your Lifestyle
Major lifestyle changes are often a telltale sign of prescription opiate addiction. You may find that you are skipping or reducing activities that you used to often partake in before taking the drugs. This could be exercise, reading or spending time with loved ones. You may also find that you are partaking in activities that are dangerous, too, such as mixing the drugs with alcohol or using the drugs while driving or operating dangerous equipment.
5. You Are Becoming Tolerant to the Drugs
If you are finding that you keep needing to take more and more of the drugs to achieve the same level of pain relief, you may be coming tolerant to the drug, which is another sign of addiction. This is also the case if you need to take the drug more often than you are supposed to in order to maintain relief from pain.
6. You Are Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are trying to reduce the amount of prescription opiates you are taking and find that this causes you physical problems, this may mean that you are suffering withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be very debilitating and often cannot be overcome on your own.
7. You Are Using the Drugs To Get High
If you are using prescription opiates not just to relieve pain but also to achieve the state of euphoria that often accompanies taking the pills, then you most likely have a problem and need help.
8. You Are Using Unprescribed Pills
If your desire for the drugs is so great that you are buying them illegally, or if you are using pills that were prescribed for someone else, this is another strong sign that you need to seek treatment.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing some or many of the symptoms listed here, it is important for you to seek treatment. There is no shame in asking for help. The only shame is when you don’t.
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