Here are 7 ways you can tell.
Do you find yourself taking more Opioid pain medication than what you are prescribed? Do you check the clock frequently, hoping it is time for your next dose? Are you running out of medication before your next refill? Are beginning to feel the medication is losing its effectiveness and you need more and more just to feel okay? Have you ever purchased an opioid illegally or gotten some from a friend in a time of need?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with opioid addiction. You are not alone. Opioid addiction is one of the most common forms of addiction today, killing millions of people worldwide. Addiction doesn’t look the same for everyone and can impact even the most competent and functional people in our society.
Many people get placed on Opioid pain mediation by doctors due to issues of pain for various reasons. Perhaps you were in a car accident several years ago and were placed on pain medication, or you have back pain due to a slipped disc. It is not your fault if you fall into this category, but it is important to be aware if you have become addicted. If you are questioning whether or not you are addicted to your opioid pain medication, here are some tell-tale signs that you might be:
1. Tolerance. You might be feeling as though your current dose is not strong enough. Continuing to increase dosages can result in becoming addicted.
2. When you discontinue use, you feel sick. Body aches, increased pain, nausea, and fever-like symptoms are some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal from opioids.
3. Intense craving and desire for opioids. This can lead to overtaking prescribed medication or running out before your next refill.
4. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of opioid use. This can fail to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
5. Significant time is spent in obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of opioids. If you find yourself spending a notable amount of time thinking about opioids or using opioids, this can be problematic.
6. If you are having psychological problems (i.e. anxiety, depression) as a result of opioid use or if your opioid use is impacting your relationships with friends, family, or co-workers, then you might have an addiction-forming.
7. If you are having trouble discontinuing opioid use on your own. Sometimes even the most persistent efforts are futile when attempting to combat opioid addiction on your own.
- Remember: Opioid addiction is progressive, and these signs can come in varying degrees. If you relate to any or even a couple of the above-referenced symptoms, seek help now!