Opioid addiction is a chronic disease that can cause significant medical, mental, social, and economic impairments. Opioids are a class of drugs that affect the central nervous system by blocking pain and creating feelings of intense pleasure. The most immediate danger from opioid use is the very high risk for overdose. Many mistakenly believe that an overdose only occurs with long-term drug use. However, the potential for opioid overdose is present even with first-time use. Because of the highly addictive nature of opioids, participation in an opioid addiction treatment program is vital to overcoming opioid addiction.
Westwind Recovery® in Los Angeles is dedicated to helping fight opioid addiction in our nation. If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, putting off treatment one more day could have fatal consequences. Reach out for help now by calling us at 855.340.8832.
Learn to Recognize Opioid Overdose Symptoms
By now, most people are aware of the opioid epidemic in our nation. Still, unless you know someone with opioid addiction, it can be challenging to understand the crippling effects of this disease. Various drugs are involved in the opioid epidemic, including prescription medications and illegally manufactured versions of them, street drugs, and drugs designed to help treat addiction.
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between someone very high and someone experiencing an overdose, but it is essential to know how to recognize the difference. The following are signs that someone is high on opioids:
- Pupils are tiny and contracted
- Muscles appear droopy or slack
- Scratching a lot
- Slurred speech
- They might nod off
While very high people might appear out of it, they respond to stimuli like a loud noise, hearing their name called, or being shaken. If you are worried that someone is too high, do not leave them alone, try to get them moving around, and do not let them sleep.
Someone who has overdosed will not respond to outside stimuli. They might be awake but unable to speak. Other signs of opioid overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow, shallow, erratic breathing or breathing has stopped
- Making choking or gurgling sounds
- The body is entirely limp
- Slow, erratic, or no pulse
- Lips and fingernails are blue or purplish-black
Lighter-skinned people who have overdosed develop a bluish-purple skin tone, while darker-skinned people appear ashen or grey. Overall, if you cannot tell the difference, the safest thing to do is treat the situation like an overdose and seek immediate help from 911. It is rare for someone to die from an overdose immediately. People who survive usually do so because someone was there to help.
Signs You Need Opioid Addiction Treatment
Opioid abuse and addiction often begin with prescription medications to manage pain associated with illnesses, injuries, or surgeries. When substance use disorders start with prescription medication, it is complicated for an individual to accept or even recognize. Here are some questions that can indicate that you need help from an opioid addiction treatment program:
- Are you are not taking the medication as prescribed?
- Have you have begun using illicit drugs?
- Are you unable to control your use of the drug?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug?
- Are you exhibiting drug-seeking behaviors?
- Are you unable to attend to your daily responsibilities?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it could be a sign that your opioid drug use, even if it is a prescription, has gotten out of your control.
Find Out About Opioid Addiction Treatment at Westwind Recovery®
If you suffer from opioid addiction, you are not alone. This disease affects millions of Americans and their loved ones. Recent statistics indicate that nearly 100 Americans die every day from opioids and that the overdose rates across the nation have skyrocketed since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic.
As a community dedicated to helping overcome all forms of addiction, Westwind Recovery® is proud to provide top-rated addiction treatment. Contact us at 855.340.8832 to find out more about your opioid addiction treatment options.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.