How Do I Identify Opiates?

How Do I Identify Opiates?

Reading the prescription label will identify an unknown drug as a possible opiate

As a parent, child, spouse or friend, one of the last things anyone wants is to find out is that a loved one is abusing narcotics; even if those narcotics have been prescribed. Many people discover that this is exactly what is happening when they find the pills that a loved one has been using. If you suspect a loved one is abusing opiates and need to identify the pills that are being used, there are many effortless ways to do so. It may also be helpful to know the indicators of opiate abuse if you suspect this is a problem.

Identifying Opiate Pills

Prescribed medications should be held in a container with the prescription label attached. If the pills you are trying to identify are contained in this way, you can simply read the label for detailed information on the drug. The top of the label should have the information of the prescribing doctor and the pharmacy the pills were retrieved from. Below this is the prescription number, which is used by the pharmacy for refilling the prescription. Under the prescription number is the name of the individual to whom the drug is prescribed. It should be noted that it is illegal to use a medication that has been prescribed to another person. Next on the label is information about the drug, which includes the name and strength, and how it is to be taken. The last pieces of provided information are the number of refills available and the expiration date of the drug.

If the medication you are trying to identify is in an unlabeled container, you will not have a label to read. In this situation, you have two options. The first is to use an online or print reference guide. The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), for example, can be a useful tool for identification and information. Most people find that it is easier to use one of the many pill identifier applications found online. These identifiers use pill imprints, color and shape to determine the drug name, manufacturer and strength.

Another easy method of identification is to simply bring the medication into your physician’s office or pharmacy. If brought to your healthcare provider, he or she will be able to match the appearance of the pill to its name, manufacturer and strength using a reference guide. A local pharmacist will be able to do the same thing either by referencing a guide or comparing the pill to his or her stock.

Indicators of Opiate Abuse

If you have found unidentified pills or suspect that opiate drugs are being abused, you should familiarize yourself with the effects of opiate abuse. Some common indicators of opiate abuse include the following:

  • Drowsiness and increased sleeping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired coordination
  • Confusion or inability to concentrate
  • Loss of motivation
  • Social withdrawal
  • Defensiveness or anger when asked about opiate use

Though these signs are possible indicators of opiate abuse, they may also be indicative of other drug use or health conditions. Any concern of drug use or addiction should be discussed directly with your loved one prior to making assumptions or taking action.

Get Help for Opiate Addiction

Recovering from addiction can help you to find health and happiness in your life. Therefore, if you or a loved one has become addicted to opiates, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about opiate addiction treatment.