The opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States is a common topic in the news. While many people may assume the main culprit is illicit drugs like heroin, a far more common opioid is sitting in medicine cabinets across the country. Pain medication, often prescribed legally for chronic pain or after major surgery, is commonly manufactured from opioids. They produce feelings of euphoria, painlessness, and relaxation, not unlike illegal opioids. However, opioid painkillers have a high that is, at best, short-lived. However, the combination of euphoria and the absence of pain–if only temporary–are enough to trigger a painkiller addiction. People who develop symptoms of painkiller addiction find it extremely difficult to stop using the drugs. As a result, many people seeking professional painkiller addiction treatment program in Ohio at a drug and alcohol detox center can contact Midwest Detox.
The biggest challenge is identifying the signs and symptoms of painkiller addiction in another person. One of the primary reasons opioid addictions are hard to pinpoint is the stigma surrounding painkillers. Since doctors prescribe them, many people believe that they are relatively harmless. Consequently, most people ignore or overlook addiction symptoms when they occur.
Common Symptoms of Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller Addiction Tends to Involve Mood Swings
Like any other drug, painkillers cause changes in brain function. Many of these changes disrupt the brain’s ability to regulate moods. A person who abuses painkillers may eventually struggle with anxiety, addiction, or restlessness for an extended period. Their mood may shift from one extreme to the other–sometimes within a matter of minutes or hours. If you notice mood swings, you may want to monitor the correlation between the mood and the drug they are taking.
Denial Is a Frequent Symptom of Addiction
A person who has a painkiller addiction is likely to be the last person to admit the problem. No matter how many people approach them about the addiction, they may downplay it, avoid a conversion, or change the subject. This is because they are afraid of losing their painkillers. If you are considering staging an intervention and taking someone to a substance abuse treatment program, you need to help them accept the reality of their situation and be willing to do something about it.
Even when a person admits they have a problem with abusing pain pills, getting off the drugs is difficult. For instance, someone may decide to stop taking the pills, but they experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms that deter their efforts. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irritability or nervousness
- High blood pressure
For this reason, a person who wants to stop using painkillers should get help from a painkiller addiction treatment program in Ohio.
Changes in Appearance and Personality
One of the most obvious addiction symptoms is sudden or strange changes in behavior, appearance, and overall personality. A person who may typically be responsible, calm, and normal may suddenly act bazaar, dress oddly, or do things completely out of character. They may suddenly develop an apathetic attitude toward school, work, or family and cease activities that formerly interested them.
Participating in Dangerous Behavior
A person with a painkiller addiction will engage in risky behavior either because they are high or trying to fuel their addiction. For example, a person may take opioids and drink heavily at the same time, increasing their chances of an overdose. Or they may seek opioids from illegal sources so that they can increase their dosage and stay high. This last example is typical of people addicted to painkillers who can no longer fill their prescriptions legally. They may have tried visiting other doctors, a process known as ‘doctor shopping,’ or they may have attempted to buy, borrow, or steal painkillers from friends and family. Eventually, they are forced to seek illegal drugs, like heroin, to fuel their painkiller addiction.
If you notice that someone is engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, you need to get them help as soon as possible. Increasing an opioid dosage can lead to terminal health problems or overdose. If possible, try to speak with a treatment specialist and learn how to stay an effective intervention. Doing so can save the addicted person’s life.
Learn More About Symptoms of Painkiller Addiction at Midwest Detox Center
If you have a loved one who has a painkiller addiction and needs help getting them treatment, contact Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392, or contact us online. Let us help you identify addiction symptoms and stage an intervention for a friend or loved one. Our addiction treatment therapies help you or a family member get on the road to recovery.