How to Tell If a Loved One Needs Opioid Treatment

Opioid treatment saves lives. The abuse of opioids is a nation-wide problem. It is being addressed at every level of government, as well as by many non-profit organizations. For many people and their families, opioid addiction is not just a faraway statistic. It is a painful reality that can lead to a fatal outcome.

Neither the addicted person nor their family would like for things to remain as they are. Which is why opioid treatment is the only way to get the addicted person out from under the weight of opioid abuse. But first, there is the little issue of actually figuring out if a person is addicted to opioids. This article can help with that.

How opioids became a problem

Many kinds of pain medication have opioids as an active ingredient. If they are taken the right way (meaning sparingly and for the shortest possible amount of time), the medication will have no lasting effects.

Unfortunately, opioids are often prescribed for chronic pain, which means that they can be prescribed in the long term. Long-term use of opioids can open the door to overuse, which ultimately leads to addiction or abuse.

Opioid abuse is not the easiest thing to spot, but with a keen eye, a person will notice the following signs in their loved ones:

The early stages

A surprising number of people get a gut feeling that something is wrong with their friend or loved one. That 'instinct' is a person's subconscious picking up on ever-so-slight changes like:

  • Taking opioids past the time period recommended by the doctor
  • Slight changes in mood, most commonly irritability that goes away after a person has taken a pill
  • A change in sleep patterns, where a person sleeps too little, too much or at odd hours

During the early stages of opioid abuse, a person will seem pretty normal. They will hold down a job and take part in routine activities. Some people who abuse opioids do not take excessive amounts of the drug.

This is why it is important to be on the lookout for subtle changes in a person's behavior or mental state.

Other signs of opioid abuse

As a person progresses towards addiction, they will need more pills than a physician would normally prescribe. Their loved ones will begin to notice signs like:

  • The person will 'borrow' medication with the excuse that they 'forgot' their medication someplace else
  • The person will try to get multiple prescriptions from different doctors
  • They will take opioids even when they are not in pain
  • They will feign symptoms to get a prescription

In many cases, a person who abuses opioids will become unable to perform routines like going to work or school. They may stop running errands and doing basic chores, their personal hygiene may suffer or the person may start making poor decisions that could lead to dangerous situations or legal trouble.

These signs are quite obvious and should not be ignored. By acting quickly, a person can help their loved one get timely opioid treatment. In the end, quick action may save the loved one's life.

Do you need to take the next step? We can help

If you have confirmed that the person you care about is abusing opioids and needs opioid treatment, then you can proceed to the next step: Getting help. The thing is, an addict is not always willing to get help. More likely than not, they will reject your help with lots of hostility and denial.

That is where we come in. We can help you get through to your loved one and offer them the help they need to kick their habit. All you have to do is call, email or visit our offices. We are waiting and happy to hear from you.

Get started today…

Request an appointment here: https://www.evolvepsychiatry.com or call Evolve Psychiatry at (631) 773-1096 for an appointment in our Massapequa office.

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