How Much is Too Much?

Opiate addiction is a major issue in Montana, with prescription opiate addiction being one of the biggest drug problems today. Any long-term use puts you at risk of addiction, even if the substance is used as prescribed. Many people who use opiates will develop a tolerance to them–a phenomenon that can trigger the cycle of addiction. When this occurs, people routinely take more and more of the substance to elicit the desired response. This ever-increasing dosing places one at great risk for overdose. Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids.

Signs and Symptoms

Physical signs that someone may be abusing an opiate include:

  • Noticeable elation/euphoria.
  • Marked sedation/drowsiness.
  • Confusion.
  • Constricted pupils.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Intermittent nodding off, or loss of consciousness.
  • Constipation.

Other signs of opiate abuse include:

  • Doctor shopping (getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors).
  • Shifting or dramatically changing moods.
  • Extra pill bottles turning up in the trash.
  • Social withdrawal/isolation.
  • Sudden financial problems.

Withdrawal symptoms can mimic flu symptoms and include:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Sweating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Inability to sleep.

Where to Get Help

If you or someone you know is abusing prescription drugs talk with a doctor about over-the-counter or all-natural alternatives to manage pain. Schedule an appointment today at a Community Health Center near you.