What Does Opioid Use Look Like?

What Does Opioid Use Look Like

Opioids are a group of synthetic drugs that are related to opium, they are used as painkillers and prescribed to patients as needed. Similar to their closely related cousins, opioids can be addictive and prompt abuse. Opioid addiction is considered an epidemic in America and a serious social problem, it has claimed the lives of over 16,000 people in 2020, making up around 16% of all drug-related drugs since 1999, that year alone.

Because opioids are prescribed to patients from all walks of life, it’s very possible that even those who are not users of illegal drugs could fall victim to its claws, developing dependency and the need for rehab.

Understanding what are the signs of opioid use can help us gauge if someone we care for who is using the medication could be at risk of addiction. 

What Does Opioid Use Look Like?

Figuring out if someone is abusing opioids is not as straightforward as it would be with other drugs, particularly if the patient is taking it as a prescription. Those using opioids may be suffering from pain because of a surgery or disease, this causes an inherent moral conflict which makes it difficult for families to assess their condition and provide them with the support they need.

On the other hand, users may become addicted to opioids and seek to continue using them after their medication is no longer needed. Assessing this case may be easier as the signs and symptoms of opioid use will be noticeable.

So what are the signs of opioid use then?

When looking out for signs and symptoms two categories stand out; behaviors and physical symptoms.

Behaviors

People who are using opioids will exhibit several behaviors that can be noticed by those around them, they include:

  • Craving more opioids than prescribed by a doctor
  • Lying about being their pain to take more medication
  • Taking them “Just in case” or buying extra as a “backup”
  • Having mood swing which includes slashing out negatively and hostilities
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping for too long
  • “Losing” medication
  • Medication runs out too quick
  • Abnormal fatigue

Physical

Behaviors are not the only way to notice if someone we love may be abusing opioids, there are many physical signs and symptoms that could point to a problem. They include:

  • Pinpointed pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Constantly appearing spaced-out or drowsy
  • Slower movements
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Feeling euphoric
  • Shows withdrawal symptoms

The Moral Dilemma

Family and friends can be enablers, we may feel compelled to assist our loved ones in getting more prescriptions for them or letting them go along with their addiction, it can be very difficult, particularly when there is an underlying medical issue; however, it does more harm than good and those closest to the addict must find the courage to seek help so they may get the support they need. 

You are better prepared to help now that you understand what are the signs of opioid use. Consider changes you may notice in their prescription use and make sure to always consult with a doctor before making any changes to how they take the medication.

What to Do If Signs of Opioid Use Are Present

If a loved one is showing signs of addiction you must not waste time, it’s important to contact an addiction expert as soon as possible to discuss the options available for the addict. An early catch may certainly alleviate the situation.

Elysium Healthcare is an expert in addiction treatments and will be able to assist you every step of the way.

Contact Elysium today, to get your loved ones the help they need.

What are Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms?

heroin withdrawal

Heroin is a highly addictive substance. Just a few hours after the last use, many users are eager to get their next hit. After prolonged use, users develop a tolerance to the substance and need more of it in order to feel the same high as before and even to function throughout their everyday life.

If the addict stops using heroin abruptly, they will go into withdrawal. Heroin withdrawal symptoms are severe and uncomfortable. They are painful enough that many people avoid withdrawal at all costs, and they can be dangerous. 

What exactly are the withdrawal symptoms of heroin? Read on to find out. This article will further help you understand the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin, what to expect during the process, and how treatment facilities can help. 

Understanding Heroin Withdrawal 

Before we dive into the heroin withdrawal symptoms, let’s talk about why heroin withdrawal occurs in the first place. Heroin is an addictive substance that impacts your brain chemistry. Heroin works by essentially blocking your brain from receiving pain messages. As a result, heroin is a sedative that can lessen feelings of pain, anxiety, and depression.

As you continue to use heroin, the substance alters your brain chemistry. Whenever this occurs, your tolerance increases, as does dependence on the substance. Once you are dependent on the substance, your body requires heroin to function as normal.

If an addict stops using heroin abruptly after prolonged use, their brain chemistry goes haywire in a sense. This change in chemistry results in a number of painful symptoms. As the body is getting rid of the last traces of heroin, these symptoms will peak until they eventually subside.

Heroin withdrawal normally lasts for about one week after the last dose. Symptoms will first appear 6 to 12 hours after the last dose and peak one to three days after. Symptoms normally subside after about a week, but symptoms may remain 10 days after the last use.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms 

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to severe. Where you are at in the withdrawal process, how long you have been using, and how much heroin is in your system will impact the severity of the withdrawal process. The most common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Intense cravings 
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tremors
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Muscle aches
  • Depression
  • Chills

The most severe of these symptoms normally begin one day to three days after the individual’s last use. These symptoms are the most painful and dangerous.

Dangers of Withdrawing from Heroin Alone

Withdrawing from heroin is painful, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous. You never want to withdraw from heroin by yourself. If you withdraw by yourself, your detox will be painful and dangerous. In severe cases, withdrawing alone can lead to seizures, stroke, coma, and even death.

For most users, withdrawing alone is also ineffective. Due to the extreme symptoms of withdrawal, most individuals do not make it through the detox process and relapse instead.

Instead of detoxing by yourself, withdraw from heroin safely through medical detox. Medical detox allows you to detox from heroin safely. A medical team will be by your side to monitor vitals and make the process as comfortable as possible through management techniques

Withdrawal Safely with Elysium Healthcare 

Elysium Healthcare is a comprehensive healthcare network that can connect you with a number of rehab facilities. So that your detox is as safe and comfortable as possible, contact Elysium Healthcare today. Our team can help you find a rehab facility where you can safely detox from heroin.

What Are Physical Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Abuse?

What Are Physical Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Abuse?

Chronic alcohol abuse plagues the body in a number of ways. Substance use disorder, including alcohol use disorder, includes physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms disrupt a person’s quality of life and can impact their relationship with the ones around them.

Understanding the physical symptoms of chronic alcohol abuse provides you with some knowledge about the issue. If you see these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, it may be time to seek addiction treatment.

Scroll down to learn more about the physical symptoms of chronic alcohol abuse and how to go about finding treatment.

Understanding the Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse 

As mentioned above, substance use disorders typically have three categories of symptoms: physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms are the symptoms that directly impact a person’s physical health and body. In contrast, psychological symptoms impact a person’s mental health, while behavioral symptoms impact a person’s behaviors.

Although the physical symptoms of alcohol abuse have a close relationship with the psychological and behavioral symptoms, it’s important that individuals who suffer from substance abuse take the physical symptoms seriously since they can be lifelong.

Most Common Physical Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism negatively impacts the body in many ways. The severity of the addiction largely impacts how severe these symptoms are. The signs and symptoms of long-term alcoholism change based on how long they have been using and if they are continuing to use.

As such, it’s important to look at warning signs, long-term physical symptoms, and withdrawal symptoms when looking at the physical symptoms of chronic alcohol abuse. All three categories give you a complete picture of the physical symptoms associated with alcohol abuse. 

Here is a look at each one of those categories and their respective symptoms.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism 

If you are not sure if a loved one suffers from alcoholism, there are some physical warning signs to look out for. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Sudden changes in weight 
  • Increased tolerance 
  • Blackouts 
  • Memory loss 
  • Declining health 
  • Alcohol poisoning 

Keep in mind that these are not the only warning signs to be aware of. Research behavioral and psychological symptoms and warning signs as well.

Long-Term Physical Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Abuse 

It’s not enough to just know the warning signs. You also have to know the long-term physical symptoms of chronic alcohol abuse. These are the symptoms that arise once a person has been a chronic drinker for years. Some long-term symptoms include:

  • Liver diseases 
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Stroke 
  • Alcohol poisoning 

Physical Symptoms When Withdrawing from Alcohol 

A person who suffers from alcohol use disorder likely has a high tolerance to alcohol. If they stop drinking, their body will go into withdrawal. The physical withdrawal symptoms when stopping alcohol include:

  • Irritability 
  • Depression 
  • Nausea 
  • Depression 
  • Restlessness 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Sweating
  • Tremors 

What to Do If You or a Loved One Shows Physical Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Abuse

If you or a loved one shows any of the physical symptoms of chronic alcohol abuse above, it’s important to act quickly. The sooner you can get into treatment, the sooner your health can improve. Given that the physical symptoms of chronic alcohol use can be lifelong, you want to stop drinking as soon as possible.

Begin Your New Life with Elysium Healthcare 

Elysium Healthcare provides luxury addiction treatment facilities in California. All of our facilities are top-rated and provide comprehensive care. With the help of Elysium Healthcare on your side, you can find a treatment facility that can help you begin your new life. Contact Elysium Healthcare today to learn more about our treatment options.