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5 Signs You’re Physically Dependent on Heroin and Opioids

Heroin, morphine, and other drugs in the opioid drug class are highly addictive, and can cause you to become physically dependent after short-term use. Even if you’re using prescription painkillers, you can accidentally become physically dependent after doubling up on doses or taking more than directed. Opioid addiction is a dangerous, serious epidemic impacting the entire nation, and can affect anyone — including your closest friends and loved ones.

If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin or opioid addiction, understand you’re not alone in your fight. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?) to speak with a caring drug abuse counselor who can connect you or your loved one with detox centers that treat opioid addiction.

Don’t allow opioid addiction to negatively affect your life or that of your loved one’s in any way.

Here are five signs that indicate you or someone you care about is physically dependent on heroin or opioid painkillers.

1. Uncontrollable Cravings

When you become physically dependent on a substance, your body craves and requires that substance to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If you experience strong, uncontrollable cravings for opioids when stopping use at any time, you might be physically dependent on the drug.

2. Adequate Supply

Those who struggle with addiction and physical dependence often do whatever it takes to have an adequate supply of their substance on hand at all times. If you find yourself constantly worrying about your opioid supply running out, or devote lots of time in your life to obtaining additional opioids, you might have a problem with addiction and physical dependence. Doctor shopping, which is the act of visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions, is also a sign of physical dependence on opioids.

3. Repeated Relapses After Quitting

If you’ve repeatedly tried to stop using, but are unable to stop using and stay sober, you could be physically dependent on opioids. Many times, the reason you experience problems with quitting is because your body is going through withdrawal, and you continue using to avoid withdrawal.

4. Risky Behavior

Opioid abuse can cause you to exhibit erratic or risky behavior due to the drug’s effects. If you engage in or display uncharacteristic risky behavior, or you hear stories from loved ones about your odd behavior when using, physical dependence may be an issue.

5. Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical dependence on opioids will cause you to experience one or more mild to severe withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use. You might be addicted to opioids if you feel ill and experience adverse health effects immediately or shortly after quitting.

Common opioid withdrawal symptoms are:

Dependent on Heroin

Sweating and nausea are common opioid withdrawal symptoms.

  • Muscle aches
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Tearing eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Goosebumps
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure

If you notice one or more of the above symptoms when quitting opioids, seek treatment for opioid addiction to become healthier and avoid an accidental overdose, coma, or death.

Most drug detox centers treat opioid dependence using medications that reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This allows you to overcome physical dependence on opioids far more safely and comfortably than quitting on your own cold turkey. Quitting opioids abruptly often increases the risk for relapse, which can increase the risk for death by accidental overdose.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from opioid addiction, understand that help is just a phone call away. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-315-1376 (Who Answers?) to learn more about nearby drug detox centers that can help you or your loved one safely overcome physical dependence on opioids.

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