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Common Signs of Opiate Abuse

a woman struggles to hide the signs of her opiate abuse

Opiates are a group of substances that only contain chemicals found in the opium poppy plant. They are very closely related to another group of substances called opioids. For all practical purposes, the two categories can be combined into one. That’s true because they have the same basic effects on your brain and body. Treatment at an opiate rehab in Colorado can help anyone recover from the abuse of one of these substances. To know when a loved one may need that help, it’s essential to understand the signs of opiate abuse. Call Northpoint Colorado at 970.579.4569 for more information.

Opiates Vs. Opioids

How do opioids differ from opiates? Unlike opiates, all opioids contain at least some artificial ingredients. Many opioids only have such synthetic ingredients. Substances in the opiate family include heroin, morphine, codeine, and opium. The list of opioids includes:

  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Carfentanil
  • Hydrocodone
  • Meperidine
  • Loperamide
  • Oxymorphone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine

It’s common to see opiates referred to as opioids. It’s also common to see opioids referred to as opiates. In terms of their abuse and addiction risks, there is no clear distinction between natural and manufactured opioid substances.

Defining Opiate Abuse

You can abuse an opiate or opioid in a variety of ways. The term can be applied to any heroin or other illegal opiate use. It can also be applied to specific forms of using legal opiate medications.

For example, abuse occurs when you take your medicine more often or in larger amounts than prescribed. It also happens if you only take a legal opiate for recreational reasons. Another form of abuse involves taking a medication not meant for you. In addition, you can abuse an opiate by modifying it so that it has an increased drug effect.

What Are the Typical Signs of Opiate Abuse?

As an outside observer, you may notice things that indicate that someone you know is abusing an opiate. These observable indicators are commonly known as signs. They contrast with symptoms of opiate abuse, which are not visible from an outside point of view. Typical signs that someone is abusing an opiate include:

  • Unexplained mood changes
  • A decline in their normal level of hygiene
  • An increase in secretive or defensive behavior
  • Unusual outbursts of anger or irritability
  • Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • A drop-off in their usual level of social contact

In addition, you may notice drug paraphernalia that points to opiate abuse. Examples of this kind of paraphernalia include syringes and glass pipes. They also include burned spoons and the presence of multiple opiate containers.

Painkiller Addiction

One of the potential consequences of opiate abuse is painkiller addiction. You may also experience severe, diagnosable forms of harm without becoming addicted. Both problems fall under the heading of something called opioid use disorder, or OUD. This name applies equally to problems with opiate and opioid substances.

With help, you can recover from the effects of OUD. Modern treatment plans typically include medication, as well as psychotherapy. The specific medication and therapy used during recovery vary from person to person.

Get More Information on the Signs of Opiate Abuse at Northpoint Colorado

Want to know more about identifying opiate abuse in a friend or family member? Turn to the professionals at Northpoint Colorado. We can help you better understand what may be happening to your loved one. We can also recommend the next steps if any signs of abuse are present.

Does your loved one currently need opiate treatment? Northpoint provides comprehensive support for recovery from all opiate/opioid problems. Our customized approach offers key benefits for people from all walks of life. To learn more, call us today at 970.579.4569. You can request the same information through our online form.