Opiates are a class of drugs that includes naturally derived opioid narcotics, such as illicit drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers like codeine and morphine. Opiates react with opioid receptors that are located in the brain and throughout the rest of the body, minimizing the sensation of pain and facilitating relaxation – and when taken in extremely high doses, euphoria. Even when prescription opiates are taken exactly as prescribed by an experienced medical professional, repetitive use can lead to physical and psychological dependence. There are many dangers involved in opiate use and abuse – one of the most common and life-threatening being opiate-related overdose.
Opioid Addiction is a Crisis That is Growing
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of opiate-related overdose deaths increased more than four times from 1999 to 2018. During this same period, it is estimated that over 450,000 Americans lost their lives to an opioid overdose. Of the 67,367 total drug overdose deaths that took place in the year 2018, roughly 70 percent involved some type of opioid narcotic. This is a major national issue – it has been for quite some time, and it isn’t going away. If you or someone you know and care for has been abusing opiates of any kind, seeing professional care is extremely important. Avoid becoming another statistic and reach out to Allure Detox today.
Signs and Symptoms of Opiate Addiction Include Nodding Off
There are many signs and symptoms associated with opiate addiction, the most common and obvious being the following:
- Nodding off or extreme drowsiness
- Track marks on the inner arms (with intravenous opiate abuse)
- Dark bags under the eyes, drooping eyelids, and small, constricted pupils
- Isolating from friends and family members/an increased need for privacy
- Lack of attention paid to personal hygiene
- A loss of appetite can lead to weight loss
- Experiencing mood swings, usually marked by extreme sadness and depression
- Disrupted sleep patterns, including sleeping excessively
- Experiencing a lack of motivation when it comes to fulfilling personal obligations
- Avoiding activities that were once enjoyed and prioritized
- An increase in risk-taking behavior
- Experiencing legal and financial consequences
- Problems at work or school
- Problems within interpersonal relationships
- Developing a physical tolerance over time
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back
What Does Nodding Off on Opiates Mean?
There are many telltale signs associated with opiate abuse, but nodding off might be the most indicative symptom of an opiate addiction problem. When an individual uses a high dose of heroin or a prescription opiate, he or she might move in and out of consciousness. It might appear as if the individual is repeatedly falling asleep and suddenly waking up – the eyes close, the head nods, and then suddenly the individual is startled back into consciousness (however briefly). Many individuals who abuse heroin and other opiates want to experience a loss of consciousness. This unsightly and troublesome symptom is desired by some.
However, it can be extremely dangerous, seeing as it is usually the very first symptom of an overdose. As the individual continues to “nod out,” respiratory depression begins to occur and the necessary flow of oxygen to the brain is severely compromised. When the brain is deprived of oxygen all essential bodily functions begin to suffer, which ultimately leads to coma and eventual death.
Allure Detox and Opiate Withdrawal
At Allure Detox, we have extensive experience treating the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal. We understand how hard quitting opiates can be, seeing as the psychological cravings are very severe and overpowering – even after sobriety has been maintained for several weeks.
We utilize an effective combination of Medication Assisted Treatment, intensive psychotherapy, and holistic treatment methods. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with opiate abuse or dependence, reach out today. We will gladly help you get started on your journey of opiate addiction recovery, regaining the quality of life you undeniably deserve.