Behavioral and Lifestyle Signs of Opioid Abuse

Opioid addict.

For many people when they’re trying to determine whether or not someone is using opiates, it can be tough to spot physical symptoms. The person who’s abusing the drugs may be able to hide some of the physical giveaways, but there are also general behavioral and lifestyle patterns and red flags that may be easier to recognize. When someone is addicted to opioids or any drug, they tend to withdraw from activities and commitments, such as school or work.

They tend to lose interest in things they were previously interested in, and they may also start following different habits or routines, and hanging out with different people. There can be attitude changes such as irritability and angry outbursts, and other behavioral signs of being on opiates can include a sense of anxiety or nervousness, secrecy or dishonesty. Families and loved ones of people who are abusing opioids will tend to see that their loved ones start to put their focus elsewhere, which is often on figuring out ways to obtain more of the drug they’re abusing. This tends to lead the addict to become even more disconnected from their previous life. As well as neglecting school, work, and family commitments, people may start to neglect their physical appearance as well when they’re on opiates. As drug addiction to opioids progresses, many people will start taking extreme measures to obtain drugs.

With opioids, the body is usually quick to develop a tolerance. This means the person abusing opioids will need continuously higher doses to get high. This will often lead them to steal pills from relatives or to take money to support their habit. Doctor shopping may occur, which means the person abusing drugs will start visiting many different physicians and creating fake symptoms in the hope of obtaining opioid prescriptions. Finally, when someone is on opiates, they may resort to extreme behavior, either because of how the drugs have altered their thinking or to support their habit. This can lead to problems with the law, including arrest.

These signs of opioid abuse can often be present very early on in use, and then they tend to worsen over time. If you’re aware of the side effects and symptoms of using opioids including heroin and prescription drugs, you can then start taking the necessary steps to help your loved one get into a treatment program.

Narconon Ojai is leading the industry in this fight against opioid addiction.

AUTHOR

Fabian Padro

Executive Director, Narconon Ojai.

NARCONON OJAI

DRUG EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION