HomeHealthThe Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addition, Explained


The Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addition, Explained

Every day, about 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Many more live a life that hurts them and the people they love most.

This makes opioid addiction a major problem in the United States. If you think you or your loved one may have a problem, it is important to seek help right away.

Read on to learn about the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction.

Physical Signs of Opioid Addiction

When a person uses opioids, they attach to receptors and create chemical reactions in the body. This takes a toll on physical health.

Because the drugs suppress heart rate and respiration, they make a person very drowsy. They may sleep often.

These drugs often suppress appetite. So they might also appear thin and frail.

If a person with opioid addiction cannot get their fix, it can make them very sick. They could often present with flu-like symptoms that quickly come and go.

Mood Changes

Narcotic drugs flood the brain with feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine. While high, they may appear unusually calm, happy, and/or chatty.

The drugs could make them seem carefree for a while. As they come down, people become irritable.

They can get very anxious. Extreme highs and lows often signal drug abuse.


One of the worst signs of being addicted to opioids is lying. People tend to spin themselves into a web.

At first, they lie to cover their use. The lies will grow and branch out to other areas of their life as their focus turns to obtaining the drugs they need to feel good.

You may not catch a person in an actual lie. Sometimes things simply do not add up or you can feel that they are hiding something.

Poor Hygiene

Keeping up with regular hygiene practices takes time, effort, and money. An addict may eventually stop as the drug becomes their only focus.

You may notice that they look unkempt. Maybe they do not change their clothes or brush their hair.

Addicts may smell from not showering or brushing their teeth. Deep into the addiction, people may lose their hair and teeth from nutritional deficiencies and other poor lifestyle choices associated with their addiction.

Social Isolation

One of the signs of being addicted to opioids is social isolation. This tends to happen slowly but could be sudden.

An addict will stay away from friends and family to use in peace and hide their addiction. They may stop answering phone calls altogether.

The addicted person may change their friend group to hang out with people who also use opioids. Thes friends will not be reliable and may fall off fast.

For the most part, they will remain isolated. This should raise a huge red flag, especially for a people person.

If you feel your relationships slipping, learn about active addiction.

Watch for Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

If you suspect that somebody in your life has a problem with drugs, pay attention. Watch for symptoms of opioid addiction and take action if you notice them.

Make wellness a priority so you can live your best life. Find helpful hints on our health page!

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