Opiate use can be tricky, because opiate and opioid drug use can quickly spiral out of control. It can be difficult for opioid users to see the effects of their substance use, but there are some key ways to identify if opiate use has become problematic. While each case is unique, there are some key questions to ask to find out if it may be time for a change.
Evaluate Your Opiate Use and Habits
To see if your opiate use is problematic, first consider how often you use these drugs. The more often you use them, the more likely a problem exists. Opiates cause tolerance and dependency rather quickly, meaning the dosage and frequency of usage will often increase fairly soon after drug abuse begins.
Opioid painkillers are particularly tricky, as these drugs may have been prescribed for a legitimate health need. For instance, if an individual struggles with chronic pain, it may be difficult to know when a dependence or addiction began. The idea of simply quitting a prescription painkiller may feel uncomfortable, or even terrifying.
In other cases, illegal opioid drugs, such as heroin, usually indicate that there is a problem. However, addiction often tricks individuals into believing that the substance use is “under control”. Unfortunately, the very nature of opiate drugs means that they simply don’t allow anyone to keep substance use under control for long.
Consider the following questions:
- Have you spent more money than you intended to spend on opiates?
- Have you used the substance more often than you originally intended?
- Has your dosage increased?
- Do you feel anxious or irritable about the idea of stopping opiate use?
- Have you ever done something illegal or out-of-character to obtain more opiates?
- Have any friends or loved ones expressed concern about your substance use?
- Have you neglected anything that was once important to you?
An answer of “yes” to any of these questions indicates that there may be a problem with opiates.
How Do Opiates Affect Your Behavior?
Opiates not only affect your wallet, but they also affect your behavior. Studies have shown that opiate and opioid use can cause changes in behavior and even personality. For example, the highs and lows of opioid use, dependence, and withdrawal can lead to constant irritability, increased sensitivity to pain, sleep disturbances, and depression or anxiety. Eventually, people with an opioid problem may ignore their responsibilities to spend more time procuring or taking drugs. Opioid abuse may cause an individual isolate himself to take drugs alone, or only spend time only with other drug users.
Another important change associated with addiction is the increased desire to obtain the drug. Those who need money to get drugs will take risks they would have otherwise avoided, such as breaking the law. In many cases this leads to an unfortunate cycle of risk, shame, guilt, and increased opiate usage.
People around an opiate user may complain that their loved one is not the same anymore. Individuals often feel irate without the drug, or may have no desire to work or fulfill social obligations. Any of these signs or symptoms indicate a more serious problem that may need treatment.
Changing Opiate Abuse
The first step of overcoming an opiate addiction is to admit that there is a problem, because only then can you address the situation. Recovery begins with understanding the extent of the addiction, and it ends with you finding the right treatment for your unique needs. Take advantage of those who wish to help you: let them push you in the right direction, and soon you will be on the fast track to recovery.
Opiate Addiction Help
Do you need help overcoming opiate addiction? If so, then do not hesitate to call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our opiate recovery professionals are available right now to provide the support you need, so call now to begin recovery today.