If you are going to help a friend with an addiction, it’s vital you’re aware of what’s going on around you. Opiate addiction is a growing problem worldwide, especially here in the United States, and it’s not always easy to spot.
People become addicted to opiates for various reasons. They are used to treat pain and sometimes give people a feeling that the pain isn’t there, and their life is in a good place. Hydrocodone is a drug often used recreationally, while drugs such as codeine and morphine have been problematic for authorities and healthcare professionals for years because of their ease of acquisition and their addictive nature.
The most obvious sign of an opiate addiction is a sudden change in behavior. You know how your friend generally acts, so if suddenly something changes without an obvious outside stressor then you should be on alert. It’s expected that a change in behavior could occur after a death, but extreme alterations in mood are a sure sign of an opiate addiction, especially when combined with other signs such as frequent bouts of anger and hostility.
Another big – and related sign – is that the person with an opiate addiction will start isolating themselves from family and friends. Social engagements will be skipped and your friend will either fall into a loner status or start hanging out with a new crowd of people. Also look for a dramatic dip in performance in school, work, or sporting achievements as an opiate user will care nothing about things that used to matter in order to work on getting their fix.
Signs related to this also include a sudden neglecting of personal hygiene and clothing. Maybe the person you are worried about used to be in fashion and now wears the same clothes for days. This is a sign of addiction. They may also suddenly have a habit of zoning out or completely falling asleep in inappropriate situations because they no longer have full control over their sleep/wake cycle.
Hopefully, your relationship allows you to read these signs and help your friend seek treatment. If the addiction is caught early then the odds are much better that it can be treated and that your friend can return to a normal and drug free-life.
Article by Vital Guidance