Helping a Loved One Addicted to Opioids
The class of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, and most pain-relieving prescription drugs. Addiction to these drugs is widespread and affects people of all ages and backgrounds but some are more vulnerable than others. It is very difficult to quit taking these drugs due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms and very few manage recovery without help.
In the early stages of addiction it may not be easy to spot that a loved one is abusing an opioid. You may have a sense that something is not right and if you have noticed the following changes in their behavior, the chances are that they are addicted to opioids. Here are some other signs: your loved one regularly takes a medically prescribed opioid in a greater quantity than specified by the practitioner or takes it for the way it makes them feel rather than for pain relief; you notice excessive mood swings from euphoria to hostility; you notice changes in sleep patterns; ‘losing’ medication so that another prescription is required or seeing multiple doctors to get more pills, ‘just in case’; poor decision making, putting themselves or others in danger. The most obvious sign of drug addiction is continuing to consume even when it is making everything worse.
Your loved one may have become compelled to source their opioids illegally and you may notice that they have different associates, are spending time and money irresponsibly, or they may be having increasing problems at school or work. You know your loved one better than anyone and if you find your behavior has changed towards or because of them this is also a sign that something needs to change. You may find you are avoiding them because of their behavioral changes, you may find yourself lying or making excuses for the changes in their behavior, worrying about them to the point of making yourself ill, and contemplating calling law enforcement when you realize they are using illegal drugs.
You need to take practical measures. Acceptance is the first step for you, even if your loved one is in denial. Talking about the issue can make you fraught with anxiety, but there are communication tools you can use. Focusing on positive outcomes and hope is simply a must. Recovery is possible and help is available. The fact that you are reading this is a sign that your loved one has you fighting their corner. There are many treatment options, including a comprehensive recovery program that will address any underlying issues which may have caused the dependence. There could be psychological or emotional reasons, or they could simply have become physically addicted and don’t know how to quit. At CASA Recovery in San Capistrano, CA we offer a variety of tried and tested treatment options for opioid addiction. Contact us to find out how we can work with you and your loved one to ensure they take that first step on the road to recovery.