Opioid addiction, unlike traditional drugs flooding our communities, is a hidden evil that renders its users unable to focus productively or act as cohesive members of society. Although a plethora of social issues afflict members of our local communities, opioid reigns kind. Issues like spotty work history, reckless behavior, impulsivity, dangerous financial habits and interacting with less-than-savory individuals are common.
However, what are the signs and behaviors friends, family members, romantic partners should familiarize themselves with about opioid abuse? Regardless of our position in life, routine opioid consumption normalizes chaos and rips families apart in the blink of an eye. Whether you are personally dealing with addiction or know someone battling daily with their vices, here are the telltale signs of narcotic abuse.
Fatigue and Lethargic Behaviors
A side effect of opioid usage is how it coaxes the user to fall into a deep slumber in a short period. In a therapeutic world, this provides an efficient means of treating patients for pain while allowing them to rest and heal from surgery, trauma and non-invasive procedures.
However, drug users chase this sensation to experience euphoria and become intoxicated. Knowing this, loved ones should note instances where an individual becomes lethargic, unresponsive or unnaturally fatigued. Before asking yourself “why is napping a big deal?” let’s explore the nature of opioid-induced ‘sleep’ in greater detail.
Falling asleep after consuming drugs, often referred to as nodding off, is an experience where a user slips in and out of consciousness. This sensation is often accompanied by drooling, excessive snoring and confusion.
However, an abuser’s brain activity during these naps is unlike that of traditional sleep. When high, the signals from the brain that communicate with organ systems become dulled and unresponsive. In basic terms, abusers will often stop breathing, lose control of their motor functions, experience cardiovascular emergencies, or in some instances, pass away in their sleep.
Criminal Behavior and Petty Theft
Let’s be honest: maintaining an opioid habit is expensive. Drug abusers spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every week to support their routine. After their money dries up and they no longer work to produce an income, they find valuable materials in the vicinity to pawn.
For friends and family members, pay attention when valuable items from around the home go missing. This behavior typically manifests itself in the form of losing jewelry, electronics vanishing out of thin air and money from your wallet disappearing without a trace. While these experiences are a natural part of life, routinely undergoing these setbacks is a red flag.
Once an opioid problem matures, the behavior becomes more alarming when your beloved starts bringing home unknown individuals and associating with known criminals. If your friend, loved one or family member rapidly expands their social circle to include shady individuals, consider having a conversation. By gently approaching these topics with an open mind and willingness to listen, you can start the discussion about becoming sober.
Lastly, pay attention to dramatic mood swings and outbursts of emotional instability. We won’t lie, everyone will go through periods of mental anguish and difficulty, but habitual instances warrant further examination. The reason this occurs is related to how opioids negatively influence an individual’s ability to self-regulate their emotions and deal with stress.
When drugs enter the system, the brain produces excessive amounts of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin. But herein lies the problem: when the half-life of an opioid wears off, the natural production of these hormones must readjust back into a normal state.
During this time, opioid abusers will undergo a withdrawal period that generates emotional instability, violent behavior, depressive episodes and irrational thoughts. While a minor inconvenience seems trivial to an outsider, a drug abuser sees it as an overwhelming task that requires substantial energy to address. When faced with this dilemma, violence, sadness and manic behavior become apparent.
Get Help Today
Opioid addiction is a silent epidemic sweeping the globe, and millions of people are left without hope at the end of the day. Rather than battling by yourself and hoping for the best, why not reach out to local professionals who understand the nature of addiction?
Our staff of highly-trained therapists and medical doctors recognize the nuanced nature of opioid abuse, but more importantly, they know the techniques to reverse the damage. Whether you are a loving third party or an individual who wants to kick drugs to the curb once and for all, here is your chance. Let us help you start building your new life today! Call us at 844-903-2111.