Opioid painkillers produce a euphoria 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 get hooked on painkillers find it extremely difficult to stop using the drugs. As a result, many people must seek professional help at a drug and alcohol detox center, like Midwest Detox.
The biggest challenge with a painkiller addiction is identifying the symptoms of addiction in another person. One of the primary reasons why 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.
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. However, they experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms that deter their effort to get clean. 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 at an opioid addiction treatment program.
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 normally be responsible, calm, and normal may suddenly act bazaar, dress weird, or do things completely out of character. They may suddenly develop an apathetic attitude toward school, work, or family.
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.
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 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.