Signs of Opioid Addiction and How to Help
This article was written by Lisa Sitwell and published by Home of Grace
Opioid addiction has become a major problem in the U.S. and it’s important for people to become more informed. You should learn the main signs of opioid addiction. Doing so will help you learn when a loved one is struggling so you can help them find help.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are a type of drug that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are most commonly prescribed to patients with chronic pain. Opioids are derived from the opium poppy plant. In addition to prescription opioids, there are also illegal varieties including heroin. Opioids effectively treat pain by blocking pain receptors in the brain and relaxing the body. However, they also create a sense of euphoria and are highly addictive. As patients continue taking opioids, they can build up a tolerance and will eventually need higher doses. There are several signs of opioid addiction including a dependence on opioids. However, the most common signs you’ll see are the withdrawal signs which include intense cravings, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, and pain.
How Can I Help?
When you recognize your loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, you should do your best to get them some help. Offer support and encouragement to loved ones who are struggling and help them to find resources they need to get better. It all starts with acknowledging the addiction. The hardest part of this is getting them to admit the addiction and that they need to get help. No matter what, provide them with support and guide them through the process. It may help to tell them how the situation has affected you and how it is affecting their health. Once they do acknowledge the addiction and decide to get help, make sure you continually support them. They may become afraid or back down from their decision. Keep encouraging them and remind them why getting help is important.
How Can I Support Their Recovery?
Recovering from an opioid addiction is an ongoing process. It’s not something that will be over quickly. To help your loved one, you need to offer support throughout the entire process, but especially during their recovery period. Start off by addressing the needs they have. You might find that they need to change some habits or their lifestyle. Make sure you have contact with them often as isolation can make the process harder or even lead to a relapse. As they improve, encourage them and offer positive reinforcement for the good choices they make. Recovery is a lot easier if they know that you are on their side and always ready to support them.
It can be difficult to watch someone struggle with any kind of addiction. Just know that it is much harder to be the one struggling with that addiction. Inform yourself about opioid addiction and learn how you can help your loved ones.
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