Know the Signs of Opioid Addiction

Health Minute     Spring 2018

Many Southwest Ohio families know the pain of opioid addiction. 

In 2016, Ohio had the nation’s second highest overdose death rate. And more than 42,000 Americans died of overdoses of prescription opioids and illegal opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. That’s five times more than in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. 

“A key to protecting your loved ones,” says Michael Dulan, MD of Dulan and Moore Dulan Family Wellness Center., “is knowing the signs of opioid addiction, so you can help them get treatment.”

Signs of addiction include:

  • Not being able to stop using a drug – or using more than the recommended dose of a prescribed medication
  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow or slow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Physical agitation
  • Poor decision making and abandoning responsibilities
  • Slurred speech
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Euphoria (feeling high)
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lowered motivation
  • Anxiety attacks

Prescription opioids contribute to 40 percent of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC. Commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, these medications include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and methadone. 

If you suspect opioid addiction in yourself or a loved one, talk with your health care provider about treatment options. Medications are available to treat opioid addiction. And the National Institute of Drug Abuse recommends Medication Assisted Treatment, which combines medications and behavioral counseling.

For information on opioid addiction resources in Southwest Ohio, visit OpioidAssist.com. Or talk with your doctor or visit us online to find a physician.