Opioid addiction is an illness that affects a person’s brain and behavior, resulting in an inability to manage the use of any drug or prescription, whether legal or illicit.
Opioids include substances such as heroin, morphine, opium, and codeine. When you’re hooked on an opioid, you may continue to use it even if it causes you harm.
Opioid addiction can begin with social experimentation with a recreational drug, and for some people, drug use becomes more frequent.
For others, drug addiction develops with exposure to prescribed medications or acquiring medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication, particularly with opioids.
It is much more dangerous than alcohol addiction, so if your teenager seems to be suffering from it, take them to the Gallus Detox treatment addiction treatment center.
What Is Opioid Addiction?
Opioids are a pharmacological class that includes prescription pain relievers and illicit substances like heroin. Though doctors can prescribe opioids to manage pain, overuse of the substance can lead to dependency or addiction.
Anyone who has been prescribed an opioid should carefully follow their doctor’s instructions and only take the drug as directed.
Opioid use disorder is a medical illness characterized by an inability to stop using opioids and express behaviors centered on opioid use and interfere with daily life.
When someone has an opioid use disorder, they might become physiologically reliant on the drug, marked by withdrawal symptoms like cravings and sweating. People can, however, misuse opioids without developing physical dependence.
It can be tough to discontinue taking opioids when a person has developed a physical need. In addition, this dependence can disrupt everyday routines, including personal relationships and financial situations.
Causes Of Opioid Addiction
Stimulants, cocaine, and opioid medications may cause addiction to develop more quickly than other drugs. In addition, addiction is more likely to occur if you smoke or inject substances. Taking medicines deemed less addictive might also set you on the path to addiction.
Let’s look at the most common reasons for opioid addiction here:
Drug addiction runs in certain families and is most likely caused by a hereditary predisposition. For example, you’re more likely to acquire a drug addiction if you have a blood relative with alcohol or opioid addiction, such as a parent or sibling.
(ii). Mental Health Issues
You’re more likely to become addicted to drugs if you have a mental illness like depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Opioid use can become a coping mechanism for painful emotions like anxiety, despair, and loneliness.
(iii). Peer Pressure
The influence of others can often make you feel the need to fit in. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator for young individuals to use and abuse drugs. It is a gesture to be so-called ‘cool’ when you abuse opioids under the influence of your peers.
(iv). Lack Of Family Involvement
If there is no involvement from the family, it may lead you to develop opioid addiction. Addiction can be exacerbated by difficult family situations such as divorced parents, a lack of connection with your parents or siblings, as well as parental oversight.
(v.) Early Drug Usage
Early drug usage can alter the development of the brain and raise the risk of developing a drug addiction. For example, when you take opioids at a young age, it likely alters your brain chemicals and pushes you to keep on taking the opioids even when the doctor forbids it.
Signs Of Opioid Abuse
Someone who is suffering from opioid addiction may not show symptoms straight away. However, there may be signals that they require assistance over time. A doctor can diagnose opioid use disorder better than you but if you are not ready to do that yet, check for the following signs:
School Or Work Problems
If a teenager suffers from opioid addiction, he will frequently be absent from school or work. As a result, he may express a sudden lack of interest in school activities or other daily chores or reduced grades or work performance.
Lack of energy
Lack of energy and motivation is a telltale sign of opioid abuse. A young adult should not have any chronic health condition that will make him tired. Therefore, if your teenager is always lacking energy, you must check under the hood to find out if he is taking opioids.
Lack Of Concern About The Appearance
Lack of concern about one’s appearance always indicates something suspicious. Young adults are usually concerned about how they look when they go out. If your child expresses a sudden lack of interest in dress, grooming, or appearance, it probably means he is abusing opioids.
Being Extra Secretive
When people abuse opioids, they make exaggerated efforts to keep family members out of their rooms. They become extra secretive about where they go with friends. You may also notice abrupt changes in their relationships with family and friends.
They may make unexpected requests for money with no explanation. Or, you may also find that money is missing from your wallet or that some expensive items have vanished from your home. It means that someone uses them to gather the money to buy drugs.
Mood Swings And Irritability
When your young adult expresses excessive mood swings and is constantly agitated, it may mean that something is fishy. Sudden mood swings can occur if people don’t get the drugs when they have the urge, so look out for this sign.
Opioids generally make people feel tired. So if your child is always feeling sleepy and never goes out to do outside activities that he used to like before, it may reflect that he is undergoing an opioid addiction.
Complications And Health Risks
Short- and long-term impacts of opioid usage can be harmful. In addition, taking certain substances, especially in excessive dosages or in combination with other drugs or alcohol, can be extremely dangerous.
- Methamphetamine, opiates, and cocaine are highly addictive and can lead to various short- and long-term health problems, such as psychotic behavior, seizures, and death from overdose.
- Sedation, confusion, and memory loss are possible side effects of GHB with flunitrazepam. They can cause convulsions, coma, and death in excessive doses.
- Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and problems such as seizures can all be caused by ecstasy or molly (MDMA). MDMA has the potential to harm the brain over time.
- One of the most dangerous aspects of opioid drugs is that the liquid, tablet, or powder forms sold on the street frequently contain unknown ingredients that might be deadly, such as illegally made pharmaceutical medications.
- Because of the poisonous nature of these inhalants, users may experience varying degrees of brain damage.
How To Stage An Intervention When Your Teenager Is Going Through Opioid Abuse?
People addicted to opioids often deny that their behavior is severe and are hesitant to seek therapy. However, an intervention provides an organized chance for a loved one to make adjustments before things worsen, and it can drive someone to seek or accept treatment.
An intervention should be prepared, and it can be carried out by family and friends in collaboration with a doctor or expert, such as a registered alcohol and drug counselor. Or, it can also be directed by an intervention specialist.
It involves family and friends and coworkers, clergy, and others who are concerned about the addiction victim.
During the intervention, these individuals convene to have a direct, one-on-one dialogue with the individual about the consequences of addiction and request that he seek treatment.
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