Prescription Pill Abuse: Symptoms of Opioid Abuse
Opioids are a prescription medication used to treat pain. While they can be a helpful medical tool, they are also extremely addictive. Opioid addiction knows no bounds — no matter someone’s age, gender, socioeconomic class, or upbringing — addiction can happen to anybody. If you are concerned that you may have become addicted to your prescription opioids or if your loved one might be participating in prescription pill abuse, keep reading for the signs and symptoms.
Prescription Pill Abuse: How It Happens
Opioids are strong pain relievers that are prescribed to treat people for a wide range of reasons. Typically and most commonly, individuals are prescribed opioids to recover from surgery, after a major injury, health conditions such as cancer, and for individuals who suffer from chronic pain. There are also illegal opioids that are not prescribed, such as heroin.
Types of prescription opioids include:
Opioids trigger the reward system, which makes its user feel a large euphoric rush. In an effort to duplicate that rush, the user might start taking more opioids than prescribed, which can cause tolerance to build. The more the tolerance builds, the more an individual will become dependent, which puts them on the fast track to addiction and possible overdose. An individual can become addicted after just one dose and, in some cases, can overdose even after only one use of the dangerous prescription drugs.
Once dependent, the individual will start exhibiting physical symptoms and drug-seeking behavioral symptoms. In addition, maintaining a prescription pill addiction can become costly. This causes many individuals to seek the illegal opioid heroin, as it is less expensive and offers the same effects.
Prescription Pill Abuse Statistics
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids
- Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid
- Overdoses involving opioids killed nearly 47,000 people in 2018, and 32% of those deaths involved prescription opioids
- Overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids (like fentanyl), have increased almost six times since 1999
Physical Symptoms of Opioid Prescription Pill Abuse
One of the ways you can determine whether or not you or a loved one is suffering from prescription pill abuse is by their physical symptoms. These include:
- Track marks on the skin
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Short breathing
- Frequent nose bleeds
- Unkempt appearance
Behavioral Symptoms of Opioid Prescription Pill Abuse
Another way you can determine whether or not you or your loved one is addicted to dangerous prescription drugs is by keeping aware of any of the below behavioral changes. Behavioral symptoms of opioid prescription pill abuse include:
- Drug-seeking behavior. This includes having multiple doctors to write multiple prescriptions and visiting multiple pharmacies to fill them, purchasing pills on the black market, or making the change to heroin.
- Isolation. One of the very first signs of addiction is isolation, whether that is to hide a hangover, hide the fact that they are high, to avoid uncomfortable conversations, or to spend time with a new social circle who shares in the addiction.
- A lot of time spent on the drugs. When a lot of time is spent obtaining the drug, thinking about the drug, being hungover or dopesick from the drug, having anxiety over the lack of drugs, or constantly talking about the drug, this should be a huge cause for concern.
- Uncharacteristic behavior. Addiction can change the brain chemistry, causing people to act out in ways they normally wouldn’t if they were sober. Stealing, legal issues, problems with work or school performance, spending time in unsavory neighborhoods, staying out very late or not coming home at all, increased aggression, and regularly creating volatile situations should all be taken seriously as a sign of addiction.
About Seasons in Malibu
Seasons In Malibu is leading the way in advancing the treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse through innovative approaches and specialized treatment options, as well as tried and true methods. Our luxury drug rehab center is one of the finest in the world. We take pride that we are able to treat the entire body using the latest medical, holistic, and scientific modalities, and incorporate them into a unique one-on-one experience for our clients.
Our highly trained staff of MDs, psychotherapists, and holistic practitioners are encouraged to connect with clients and open their minds to new modes of thinking. Our community also incorporates a systemic family treatment model into the process so our clients have the greatest chance for long-term sobriety after they leave Seasons In Malibu.
Patients immediately undergo a medical assessment to determine the detox treatment method appropriate for him or her. We at Seasons believe in the principle of “individualized treatment,” so the first thing we do is establish the right medication and therapy for each patient through an assessment process. Patients are then reassessed every week and their treatment plan is modified according to their progress. Each of our patients is constantly and carefully monitored so any problems are addressed immediately as they appear.
With our superior team of clinicians, we are able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com