With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, an unexpected accident or injury can really throw off a busy schedule. Prescription opiates fit in nicely with today’s hustle and pace, allowing a person to pick up where he or she left off while still recovering from an injury.
Unfortunately, this level of convenience comes with certain risks as opiate drugs in general carry a high potential for abuse and addiction. What may seem like a passing symptom along the can quickly develop into a full-blown condition, especially when opiate abuse practices take shape along the way.
Being able to spot signs of opiate abuse sooner rather than later offers the best chance of preventing an out-of-control addiction problem from taking over your life.
Opiate Abuse Potential
The brain houses its own pain management system that uses endorphin chemicals to relieve pain, whether it be physical pain or emotional stress. According to the Journal of Pain Research and Treatment, endorphins share a similar chemical makeup with opiate drugs. This similarity allows the brain to easily adapt to opiate effects and adjust its own endorphin production rates accordingly.
These conditions account for why opiates carry such a high risk for abuse and addiction.
3 Reasons to Get Opiate Abuse Treatment
With ongoing opiate use, the brain develops a dependence on opiate effects to carry out its regulatory functions. Over time, physical dependence brings on withdrawal effects, which are a clear sign that a person is engaging in opiate abuse.
Withdrawal effects result from growing brain chemical imbalances brought on by fluctuating endorphin chemical levels. Symptoms to watch for include:
- Problems sleeping
- Mood swings
Psychological dependence becomes an issue when a person starts to use opiates as a way of coping with daily life responsibilities. Much like the brain comes to rely on opiates to manage the body’s systems, psychological dependence develops out of the mind and the effects opiates have on a person’s thinking and emotions, according to the Journal of Science & Practice Perspectives.
In the absence of needed opiate abuse treatment, this “need” for opiates will override all other priorities in a person’s life.
While it may be difficult to spot the physical and psychological effects of opiate abuse, major changes in your daily lifestyle are hard to miss. In effect, psychological dependence breeds poor choices and faulty decision-making for the sake of getting and using the drug.
Lifestyle effects to watch for include:
- Relationship conflicts caused by drug use
- Problems on the job or loss of employment
- Financial strain
- Problems with the law, such as DUIs
While following prescription guidelines greatly reduces the risk of opiate abuse, it’s still possible to fall into drug abusing patterns all the same. As a general rule, the longer you stay on opiates the greater the risk.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be engaging in opiate abuse and need help finding a treatment program that meets your needs, call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction counselors.