Ask any person over the age of 50 what accomplishment they’re most proud of, and you can bet that many of them will smile and respond without missing a beat, “My kids.” A lot of love goes into raising children. It’s a simple fact that humans are hardwired to protect their offspring. Unfortunately…
Love can be blinding.
And enabling. And codependent. So when your son or daughter begins using opiates, it’s easy to overlook or misinterpret the symptoms. It’s hard to accept that your beloved (yet imperfect) child, the person you would give anything to protect, might be using substances to deal with their problems.
Opiates affect the central nervous system and trigger a flood of endorphins, which creates an intense feeling of euphoria. Users may appear very sleepy, even to the point of passing out. This is sometimes known as “nodding off”. Droopy eyelids and sluggish responses during conversation may indicate an opiate problem.
Unusual Pupil Size
In normal healthy individuals, pupil size changes according to how bright it is outside. But pupil physiology changes when drugs are present in the bloodstream. Opiates in particular are wont to create “pinpoint” pupils when present in the user’s system.
Wearing Long Sleeves
Heavy IV drug use with a hypodermic needle often creates forearm track marks. Long sleeves are an innocuous solution to this problem. It’s important to realize, though, that addicts have ways around conspicuous track marks. Some of the more common include:
- Shooting up in a hidden area such as the foot/inner thigh
- Using the drug in a different form: swallowing pills, snorting, smoking
Addicts in general tend to neglect personal hygiene.
Money Problems: Stealing, Pawning, Criminal Behavior
No matter how you cut it, drug habits are expensive. Opiate addicts usually run into serious financial issues. Be wary when your child asks for money, even if the given reason seems innocent.
Violations of trust are commonplace with active addicts. Stealing, pawning, and the selling of household objects are all risks. Keep track of how much cash your wallet has, and monitor your debit and credit card accounts online. Also keep an eye around the house for missing objects that may have been pawned.
Addicts often resort to criminal activities to fuel their habit: other than stealing, dealing drugs and self-prostitution are the most common. At this point, detox/residential care is an essential step in your child’s recovery. They need to get away from the toxic influences that hustling brings.
Unfortunately, diagnosing opiate abuse will be an uphill battle because addicts usually become compulsive liars in regard to their habit. They are protecting their own self interest because they’re in denial about their problem.
Don’t feel betrayed by this behavior. Addiction skews priorities and makes lying second nature. Morality is thrown out of the equation when hardcore drug use is involved. It’s not personal, it just means that your child has developed a disease they need to overcome.
Overcoming Addiction to Opiates
Don’t let the uphill battle discourage you. Although it may seem overwhelming now, there are resources out there that can help your child face their problem in healthy ways.
That said, don’t take opiate abuse lightly. You can’t just have a stern talk with your child telling them to stop. Opiate withdrawal can be deadly depending on their current dosage. To get clean safely, your child requires medically supervised detox. Contact our addiction specialists to get a free assessment over the phone for what kind of treatment your child would need: 855-737-7363