Opiate addiction does not just happen. You do not wake up one morning addicted to opiates; it is a gradual insidious process that catches even the most wary. Like the 12 days of Christmas, opiate addiction often happens in 12 steps.
1. You are Prescribed Opiate or Opioid Pain Killers
The might be from your doctor or dentist for a legitimate illness or surgery. You begin to take them as prescribed.
2. Your Body Adjusts to Them
The opiates make you feel good, calm, content, euphoric at times. May people begin to enjoy this feeling.
3. You Continue to Take Them When you do not need Them
Even though the pain of the surgery or illness is gone you keep taking them because of the way that they make you feel. If you were prescribed them for chronic pain you start taking more of them than you are prescribed.
4. Your Prescription Runs Out
You find that you are worried that you are getting low or that your prescription has run out. You ask your doctor for more because you convince yourself without them you will be in pain.
5. You Start to Lie to Yourself, Your Friends, Your Family, and Your Doctor
You begin by simply overstating your pain. You might wince a little but the pain is nowhere near as bad as it was before yet you feel the need to take the opiate.
6. You Think up Ways to Get a Prescription or Purchase them Illegally
You start crave the feeling they bring you. Sometimes you start to feel phantom pain just to have an excuse to take another one.
7. You Begin to Fear Running out or Being without Them
Panic starts to set in when you do not have a prescription for them or your pills are not immediately available. At this point, you have the beginning of a problem.
8. You Start to Go to Different Doctors or Look for Doctors that will Prescribe Opiates Easily
This behavior is known as doctor shopping. Sometimes doctors catch on quickly and others run pill mills that prescribe painkillers like candy. You find yourself seeking out the ones that just prescribe.
9. When you do not take the Opiate Regularly you start to Go into Withdrawal
If you cannot get your regular dose of the opiate:
- your cravings increase,
- you become nauseous or feel like vomiting,
- you start to sweat,
- your nose and eyes water,
- your body starts to cramp up and you feel achy, and
- you get anxious and irritable.
These are the early symptoms of withdrawal and it is a clear sign that you are addicted.
10. If you cannot Get the Opiates in Painkiller form You may Turn to Heroin or other Illegal Alternatives
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opiate addiction is progressive. The longer the addiction goes on the more a person needs. Soon they seek out the strongest forms of opiates such as heroin and morphine.
11. You start to do things Like Steal or Worse to Obtain your Fix
Opiate addiction can lead to heroin addiction and heroin addiction leads to a very costly drug habit. When the money starts to run out people begin stealing to support their habit. They might even turn to prostitution.
12. It is Time to Seek Help
The final step to opiate addiction is realizing when the addiction has gotten out of control. Many people wake up and realize they are well and thoroughly addicted to opiates. If you are one of these people call use at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?). We can help.