Although it might seem strange to a person who doesn’t use drugs, some people using heroin or other opiates may feel they are not addicted. Denial can be a problem as a person wants to believe they can quit using the drug any time they want. But if they try to quit, they discover a different truth. They suffer from withdrawal pain and sickness and also suffer such strong cravings that they may abandon the attempt to get sober and go back to the drug they were using.
To help the person who wants to know if they are addicted to opiates (and to help those around him find out the same thing) here are 18 signs that you may now be addicted.
Note: The drugs in this class include opiates and opioids. Opiates refer to those drugs that are derived from the opium poppy, such as opium, morphine and codeine. Opioids are those drugs that are chemically similar but are partly or wholly synthetic, such as heroin, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl and hydrocodone. Recently, the word opioids has begun to be used to refer to any of these drugs.
Answer these questions:
1. Do you automatically start to use heroin or other opioid as soon as it becomes available?
2. Do you often use more, or more often than you originally intended?
3. Have you started using higher doses of opioids to get the same effect that a lower dose used to bring?
4. If you do stop for a day, do you find yourself getting sweaty, anxious, achy or agitated within several hours of your last dose?
5. Have you ever experienced vomiting, diarrhea, nausea after quitting for a while?
6. Do the symptoms that show up when you quit make you change your mind and decide instead to “stop later” instead of now?
7. Have you decided to quit a few times but never quite managed to make it happen?
8. Have you ever gotten in trouble at work or in relationships because of your opioid use?
9. Has anyone told you that you were neglecting your responsibilities because of your opioid use?
10. Do you have less or no interest in activities that you used to think of as fun?
11. Have you suffered any problems with your heart or lungs such as infections or pneumonia?
12. Has much of your money been redirected to obtaining heroin or pills?
13. Are you committing illegal acts to make sure you have opioids on hand when you want them?
14. Have you been arrested or fired due to drug use but still returned to it as soon as you could?
15. Is opiate use the first thing you think of each morning?
16. Have you used these drugs when it could create danger for yourself or someone else, such as when you are driving or caring for children?
19. Do you find yourself rearranging your responsibilities so you can be sure to have heroin or pills on hand?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to more than a few, then it is very likely that you are addicted to whatever opiate or opioid you are using.
Getting Help for Opioid or Opiate Addiction
Any use of heroin or misuse of painkillers is harming your body and your mind right now. You need to realize what you might be doing to yourself with each dose. Narconon created a report on the health risks of using heroin to help someone in your situation. Since painkillers are chemically similar to heroin, the risks are much the same. You can find this report here: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/heroin/health-risk.html.
Above all, you should find the support you need to quit. If you are only occasionally using, talk to your loved ones to get support for quitting. If you are addicted, call Narconon to learn about this long-term rehabilitation that can bring you to a bright, new sober life. Call 1-877-782-7409.