5 Telltale Signs of Narcotic Addiction

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Narcotics, commonly known as opiate drugs, carry a high risk for abuse, dependency and addiction. Some of the most commonly used narcotics include:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Demerol
  • Percocet

The outward effects of these drugs make it difficult for users (both short-term and long-term) to recognize signs of narcotic addiction as they develop.

Addiction unfolds in stages, so seemingly negligible problems can turn into serious conditions over time. Signs of narcotic addiction can appear within a week’s time when used on a frequent basis. As narcotic abuse causes widespread damage to brain and body processes, signs of narcotic addiction can affect a person’s life on multiple levels.

Here are five telltale signs of narcotic addiction to watch out for:

Physical Dependence

Signs of Narcotic Addiction

Narcotics can cause diminished cognitive function and reasoning abilities.

A growing physical dependence sets the cycle of narcotic addiction in motion. When ingested, narcotics exert their greatest effects within the brain. According to the Pain Physician Journal, these drugs stimulate certain brain cell receptor sites, causing abnormally large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals to be secreted.

Over time, narcotics weaken brain cell functions making them less sensitive to the drug’s effects. In the process, it takes larger doses of the drug to elicit the same desired effects. This cycle of physical dependency grows worse with ongoing use and continues to deteriorate cell structures for as long as a person keeps using.

Withdrawal Effects

Withdrawal effects become the first visible signs of narcotic addiction. After a certain point, users start to experience withdrawal effects on a regular basis as brain neurotransmitter levels reach a state of ongoing imbalance. At this point, the brain is unable to keep bodily functions running smoothly, which accounts for the appearance of withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms most often experienced from narcotic addiction include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Tics
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Rapid breathing rates

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Diminished Cognitive Function

Narcotics act as central nervous system depressants that slow down brain and body processes. These effects impact brain function most of all. As brain neurotransmitters work as chemical messengers between the different regions of the brain, chemical imbalances disrupt communications throughout the brain.

After a while, users start to exhibit signs of narcotic addiction in the form of:

  • Muddled thinking processes
  • A decline in reasoning abilities
  • Poor judgment
  • Impaired decision-making abilities

Physical Signs of Narcotic Addiction

“Nodding Out”

Long-time narcotics users must ingest incredibly large doses of drugs to keep up with the brain’s rising tolerance levels. Before too long, the drug can no longer produce the desired euphoria and calm as brain cell sites have suffered considerable damage.

The overall effect from this pattern of use leaves users in a perpetual state of lethargy to the point where a person experiences random lapses in consciousness or “nods out” at any given time. Not surprisingly, this sign of narcotic addiction comes with a high risk for overdose.

Disregard for Negative Consequences

As addiction takes hold, users devote most of their time and energy to getting and using drugs. Work responsibilities, family obligations, personal safety and financial concerns all fall by the wayside once narcotics take over a person’s life. This sign of narcotic addiction becomes apparent once a person develops a psychological dependence on the drug’s effects.

the Take-Away

An addiction to narcotics is nothing to joke around with. If you or someone you love is displaying the signs of addiction it is important to seek help.