Symptoms of Opiate Addiction: Short and Long Term
Opiates are prescribed to help manage pain after surgeries and injuries. Millions take them every year after physicians prescribe them. The problem starts when people fall in love with the euphoric feeling they have while high, and begin to abuse the medication. This includes taking them more frequently and in larger doses than prescribed. It leads to people going to any measure to obtain more pills to feed the habit. Signs of pill addiction have both a short-term and long-term effect on a person, so seeking help to break the habit is often necessary.
Symptoms of Addiction
Since taking prescription medication is relied on by physicians, you need to know how to spot abuse of the opiate. Some of these symptoms do not display until the addiction requires an intervention. Because most prescription medication types are taken orally, you may not be able to notice needle marks. However, opiate addiction can lead to the abuse of other narcotics. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is important to speak with your physician for help.
- Narcolepsy or insomnia
- Itchy skin
- Mood swings
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Engaging in risky behavior for more medication
- Visiting various doctors to receive enough prescriptions
Side Effects of Pain Killers
Pain killer addiction comes because of the short-term side effects after taking a dose, but many are not aware of the long-term effects. Immediate effects can be seen within the first half-hour following a dose and may last a few hours. However, severe addicts will need another pill before prescribed due to the withdrawal symptoms or effects wearing off faster.
Short-Term Side Effects:
- Slowed breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushing of skin
- Impaired judgment
- Lightheadedness and vertigo
- Blurred vision
- Drastic weight loss
These symptoms are often placed on the information packet that comes with the prescription. A few are dangerous enough to warrant the need for a warning label sticker on the bottle. You will hear physicians tell you not to operate motorized vehicles while under the influence, and that is because of the mind-altering effects opiates cause.
Long-Term Side Effects:
The problem with opiate addiction is the effects are not only short-term. These drugs cause damage to internal organs, including the brain. While this is true even with over-the-counter medicines, it is more dangerous with addictive pain killers. Effects that an addict should expect include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Severe depression
- Life-long mood swings
- Liver and stomach damage
- Intestinal damage
- Vein damage (if the intravenous method is used)
- Prolonged constipation
Prevention is the best method against addiction to pain killers. With the knowledge that these drugs are necessary, physicians provide resources to users upon prescribing. Make sure you follow directions and check-in with your doctor anytime you use medication. However, if you begin to notice symptoms of addiction, let your health professional know. They can adjust your dosage or simply switch you to a non-addictive prescription to treat your pain. Finally, consider accepting therapy to overcome your addiction.