Hidden Signs Of Opioid And Heroin Addiction

You might think that heroin addiction would be obvious. Part of the disease is protecting the addiction as long as possible, by making it as least obvious as possible

Missing Houseware

Where did all the spoons go? How are we using this much tinfoil? When you are unaware of the signs of opioid addiction, you might not put your loved one’s odd behavior and missing housewares together as two pieces of the same puzzle. Intravenous drug users “cook” their drugs in spoons and use the pool of the spoon to draw their drugs into a needle. For those who smoke painkillers or heroin, they use tinfoil. Bottle caps can go missing, rubber bands, or belts.

Unseasonal Clothing

Opioid addiction causes a number of physical effects. First, it can cause tremendous weight loss. Wearing bulky, oversized clothing is often an effort of hiding an increasingly emaciated body. Second, opioid addiction through intravenous drug use can leave “track marks” or bruises from needles. Additionally, needles can cause abscesses or infection points. Long sleeve shirts and long pants hide the track marks and hide addiction.

Screws Unloose

Closets, drawers, air conditioning vents, shelves, cabinets, could all have a screw missing. Leaving out one screw is a way to remind someone where they have hidden their drugs. Finding a secret hole or place to stash drugs in case of emergency is a common practice.

A Busy Schedule

Considering how terrible your loved one looks- withdrawn face, sunken eyes, pasty skin- you’re wondering how they are keeping up with their busy schedule. They always have somewhere to be, something to do, someone to see. Lately, they’re out of the house for more hours of the day than you can count. Opioid addiction quickly takes a physical toll and leads to evading the truth. Your loved one is likely avoiding being home to avoid getting caught getting high. They’re schedule is full of finding, obtaining, and using drugs.

Physical Symptoms Of Withdrawal

When an addiction can no longer be hidden, it is made obvious through withdrawal symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and itching are common symptoms of withdrawal from opioids and heroin. Detoxing from heroin and opioids after it has been out of the system for too long results in a flu-like experience where someone gets sick.

Opioid and heroin addiction can be fatal. If you are concerned your loved one might be struggling with an opioid addiction, call Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey today. We offer integrative programs for compassionate healing of mind, body, and spirit, to ensure long term recovery. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


The Story of an Opioid Addiction

Our story starts with pain. Everybody experiences pain. Truthfully, everybody runs from pain. Basic Buddhist principle teaches us that much of life is pain, mostly due to our deep clinging attachment to things we desire. Primarily, in fact, primitively, we desire to not be in pain. Yet the more we run from it, the more we cause it. Such is the cycle of opioid addiction.

The Story of an Opioid Addiction

Typically, the source of pain resembles an injury, accident, or surgery. To treat the pain, doctors prescribe opioid painkillers. Obligingly, the patient follows doctor's orders. The secret snare of opioid addiction lives somewhere between the start and end of a prescription. Perhaps since the pain has been reduced, a patient decides to skip a dose. Not having once taken more than prescribed the patient is horrified to discover the instant appearance of withdrawal symptoms. Back in severe pain, they continue taking the drug as prescribed. The patient notices that the drugs aren’t treating the pain as well as they used to. Also noticeable is how difficult it is to get through the day without the painkillers. Opioid addiction doesn’t have to start with abuse. Stemming from the necessity of relieving pain, however, it often does.

In 2012, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 10 million adults abused prescription painkillers. Drugs like Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin are opiate drugs. Each contains a synthetic version of morphine which is derived from the opium plant. Opiate drugs stimulate naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain. Our brain’s opioid system works to inhibit pain. When we experience pain, our brain blocks the opioid receptors. As a result, our heart rates decrease which then signals the nervous system to help muscles relax. Prescription painkillers magnify this effect in regular doses. Consuming prescription painkillers in high doses enhances this process to a greater degree, causing euphoric sensations.

Unfortunately, the more we take opiate drugs, the more our brain becomes dependent on them. Eventually, our brain is unable to fight pain on it’s own. Consequently, we feel more pain, we are in more pain, and we face painful symptoms of withdrawal. Simultaneously, opiate drugs cause us and relieve us from pain. With every dose, we perpetuate the cycle.

Enlightened Solutions understands the challenge in breaking free from the cycle of opioid addiction. You do not have to suffer any longer. We have a solution. It starts with hope. Start your journey to recovery with us. For more information on our treatment programs for men and women call 833-801-5483.