An individual can be called opioid addict if he loses ability to stop using opioids. Opioids are usually pain killers, which work as sedatives to relax pain and induce a sense of relief. Some of the common opioids are morphine or heroin, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. the user gets dependent on the drug and could not stop its use even if it levy harmful effects on different aspects of his life.

There are many factors, which could trigger opioid addiction. Opioids are prescribed by doctors for relief from pain, cough or congestion. It is not harmful if used as prescribed by the doctor. Users who feel sensation, euphoria or sense of wellbeing after using opioid drugs are more likely to develop opioid addiction. Studies have revealed that most of the opioid addicts suffer from at least one severe psychiatric problem. Opioids have anti depressive and antipsychotic effect. They are often prescribed with such problems too. It is found that without prescription use of opioid generally leads to addiction.

People suffering from a permanent deregulation of the endogenous opioid receptor system are more prone to opioid addiction if they use a large amount of opioid or use it frequently. Some studies have revealed that m are directly associated.

Symptoms of Addiction

  1. The user exhibits a strong desire or craving to take opioid drug.
  2. The addict loses control over the intake of drug. He does not have any control over onset, termination, or levels of use of drug.
  3. When deprived from opioid drugs the addict develops a physiological withdrawal state. He may exhibit different physical as well as psychological withdrawal symptoms. They require to take opioid to avoid withdrawal symptoms;
  4. Addicts develop tolerance for opioid drugs. They require increased doses of the drug to get the desired effect.
  5. Addicts start devoting more and more time in obtaining, taking or recovering from the drug.
  6. Addicts start neglecting other activities and gives utmost importance to the drug.
  7. Addict keeps on taking opioid drugs, even if he is facing harmful consequences physically, mentally or socially. They may suffer from, harm to the liver, depressive mood states or impairment of cognitive functioning, even though he persists with the drug.
  8. Addicts deny that a problem exists. He tries to minimizing the severity of the problem and tries to undermine his addiction to opioids.
  9. He loses sense of balance or control over self.
  10. His prime motive becomes obtaining or using opioids.
  11. He fails at other responsibilities at school, work, family or childcare.
  12. He may have undergone multiple prior unsuccessful attempts to quit the drug. He may have persistent desire to quit, but is not able to quit.
  13. Ignores harm to health, job, finances or family due to opioid and go on with his opioid taking habits.

Withdrawal symptoms

Addicts of opioids may also develop many physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms, when they stop using opioid.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Tremors or shaking
  • Cramps or pain in muscles
  • Pain in bones
  • Chills or feverish feeling
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased rate of heart beats
  • Itching
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Symptoms of flu
  • Runny or stuffed nose
  • Persistent yawning
  • Persistent sneezing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness
  • dehydration

Psychological symptoms

  • Craving for opioids
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Sleeplessness
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Uneven heart beats
  • Strokes or seizures
  • Suicide attempts