This can lead to very shallow breathing or may even cause someone to stop breathing altogether. The success of therapy for substance use disorder varies by patient and by severity of the disorder. Coexisting problems such as excessive alcohol use or underlying mental illness can complicate the recovery process. Research shows there is a higher rate of substance use disorder among patients with diagnoses such as depression and those who use other substances such as alcohol.

Addiction takes hold of our brains in several ways — and is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize. This medicine is different from methadone and buprenorphine because it does not directly prevent cravings or withdrawal. Instead, according to the NIH, it prevents you from feeling the high you get when taking opioids. Treatment will also help you recover and hopefully prevent you from using the drug again in the future.

Learn More About Commonly Misused Drugs

If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with opioid abuse (whether that’s through opioid dependence vs. addiction), you may be wondering what you can do to help them. At Elevate Rehab, our professional intervention services can help you address your loved signs of opioid addiction one’s issue compassionately and productively. If you suspect that someone you love is abusing opioids, you may want to keep some naloxone on hand. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist.16 In turn, it can bind to opioid receptors, effectively reversing an overdose.

  • The person with the opioid use disorder may decide on outpatient treatment or enter a rehabilitation facility for more concentrated therapy.
  • Often, symptoms or problems are neglected, and regular health maintenance, such as checkups, colonoscopies, mammograms, etc., are not done.
  • Preventing overdose death and finding treatment options are the first steps to recovery.
  • Women also may be more likely than men to become dependent on prescription pain relievers.
  • Because these medications offer feelings of pleasure and relief, many use them more than prescribed.

Taking an opioid for a day or two is not a problem for most people, but some studies show that even the first dose can have physiological effects that can make someone vulnerable to opioid use disorder. Various treatment options are available, including visiting opioid specialists and taking drugs designed to help people with addiction. A patient’s primary care doctor — or the doctor who prescribed the opioid — can help assess the situation and recommend options. Approximately 3% to 19% of people who take prescription opioid medications develop OUD. People misusing opioids may try to switch from prescription drugs to heroin when it’s easier to get.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Recognizing the signs of opioid addiction is crucial for early intervention and improved outcomes. From physical dependence and cravings to risky behaviors and mood changes, these signs can vary in intensity but often overlap in individuals struggling with opioid addiction. Understanding how opioids work in the brain and the available treatment options, can provide hope for those seeking recovery. With the right support and treatment, individuals can break free from the cycle of opioid addiction and regain control of their lives. Trying to quit “cold turkey” is not recommended, ASAM advises, because it can lead to stronger cravings and continued use.

what are signs of opioid addiction

When a person is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, their loved ones may consider staging an intervention. Interventions are planned conversations between loved ones and the person suffering. They are typically held after the person has been approached about their addiction, but denied having a problem or refused to get help. The goal of an intervention is to help the person get into treatment.

Living with opioid addiction

These plans evolve throughout the program as you progress in recovery. If you’re currently taking prescription opioids and are concerned you may be developing a use disorder, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Instead, healthcare providers rely on a thorough evaluation of your medical history and behaviors surrounding opioid use.

It’s also recommended that households with a person with opioid addiction keep a supply of Narcan (naloxone). The drug, which may be taken as a nasal spray or injection, can rapidly counteract a narcotic overdose. That’s why knowing when to help a person seek treatment for opioid misuse (and find alternative pain management methods) is important. People who are addicted to opioids still may hold down jobs and seem stable at work and home.