What are Opioid Addiction Symptoms?

Understanding Opioid Addiction and Symptoms

Opioid addiction is a serious epidemic that currently affects more than two million Americans. This national problem is growing exponentially, and increased fourfold from 1999 to 2004. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, please know that you are not alone. Help is out there.

opioid addiction symptoms

What are Opioids?

Opioids are pain-relieving medications. They are prescribed to treat moderate or severe pain. Common opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine

Although opioids are prescribed to treat pain, they can also reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. They impact the body’s limbic system, the brainstem and spinal cord. Opioids attach onto receptors in the brain and send signals that block out pain. Additionally, they induce calm and relaxed feelings. The primary effects of the drug are the same whether it’s heroin or a prescription pill.

What are Opioid Addiction Symptoms?

General symptoms of opioid addiction and abuse include:

  • Frequent visits to different doctors for prescriptions
  • Long-term opioid use
  • Poor performance at school or work
  • Reduced interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Using opioids while driving or in other dangerous situations
  • Thought and physical movement slow down
  • Insomnia
  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Impaired judgement
  • Continuous opioid cravings
  • Memory impairment
  • Attention and focus issues

There are three terms to take a look at when you have concerns regarding a person’s reliance upon opioids: addiction, dependence and abuse.


  • Cravings
  • Inability to control use 
  • Continuing to use despite negative consequences


  • Increased tolerance to substance’s effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms when stop using
  • Failed attempts to quit 
  • Lack of interest in commitments or normal activities
  • Continuing to use despite negative consequences


  • Regular excessive use of the substance
  • Legal problems
  • Putting self in danger
  • Problems with personal relationships
  • Neglecting responsibilities

Contact us today to take your first step towards recovery.

Who Gets Addicted to Opioids?

Opioid addiction can affect people from all walks of life. That being said, some people are at a greater risk for developing an opioid addiction.

Studies have found that women are more likely to become addicted to opioids than men. This is because women experience chronic pain more often than their male counterparts. As a result, doctors tend to prescribe opioids to women for longer periods of time. Therefore, this increases women’s chances of becoming addicted.

Mental health issues also play a role in the likelihood to become addicted. Taking an opioid can help to relieve mental pain. As a result, they are likely to become reliant upon the substance.

Some common mental health conditions that may be at an increased risk for opioid addiction include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Alcoholism
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How Do I Get Help?

Inpatient or outpatient facilities can provide treatment plans to help a person overcome opioid addiction. Depending upon the severity of the addiction, either inpatient or outpatient care will be recommended after an initial assessment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction and ready to start feeling better, The Blackberry Center is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our opioid addiction treatment programs.

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