Millions of Americans use prescribed opioids to manage pain. However, the highly-addictive nature of these types of painkillers have made opioids the leader in drug-overdose deaths and a cause of the worst drug crisis in American history.
Opioids (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and others) can be safe when used correctly and exactly as prescribed. Unfortunately, it is easy for patients to misuse these drugs and become addicted. While drug tolerance and drug dependence are the body’s normal response to taking opioids for a long period of time, drug addiction is not normal.
Addiction is a disease that warrants treatment. It is critically important to know the warning signs that you have become addicted to your opioid, which looks different and more severe than physical symptoms of simply becoming dependent on the drug.
Like other types of addictions, when you are addicted to an opioid drug, you may find that both your body and your mind are unable to function without it. This can lead to an obsessive pursuit to get the drug, even when you know the drug will cause behavior issues or relationship problems.
Addiction typically happens gradually. You may have complete control at the beginning of your treatment with an opioid, but the pleasurable effect can lead to a powerful urge for more as your brain changes and responds.
Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
The signs and symptoms of substance abuse can be physical, behavioral and psychological. Typically, patients who are addicted find that they can’t stop themselves from taking more than the prescribed dosage or they continue to use the opioid without a doctor’s consent, despite the turbulence it may be causing within their work, relationships or health.
Here are some telltale signs of an opioid abuse:
- poor coordination
- shallow or slow breathing rate
- nausea, vomiting
- physical agitation
- poor decision making
- abandoning responsibilities
- slurred speech
- sleeping more or less than normal
- mood swings
- euphoria (feeling high)
- lowered motivation
- anxiety attacks
Help for Substance Abuse
Recognizing your addiction to opioid is the first step to recovery. Fortunately, there are experienced physicians who specialize in helping patients detox and recover from opioid addiction. At the office of Brent Michael, MD, we proudly offer substance abuse detoxification using Suboxone, which helps patients safely come off their opioid drug while avoiding or eliminating the often debilitating withdrawal symptoms that can occur. Suboxone can be a key element of opioid recovery when used alongside counseling and behavioral therapy.
Our Santa Monica clinic understands the tremendous toll that opioid addiction can take on families, and we are here to help! To learn more about suboxone and opioid abuse detoxification, call Dr. Michael today.