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What are the signs and symptoms?

Opiates are a group of drugs typically used for treating pain. These drugs are often prescribed by a doctor but are also known as the “street drug” heroin. Some of the commonly prescribed opiates include:


  • Codeine

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Hycodan)

  • Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)

  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percoset)

  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)

When prescribed an opiate, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and to check in regularly. Misuse of opiates can often lead to dependency and addiction. Statistics state that roughly 21 to 29 percent of the patients, that were prescribed opioids for chronic pain in 2019 misuse them of that between 8 and 12 percent of those patients develop an opioid use disorder. And an estimated 4 to 6 percent of them transitioned from prescription opioids to heroin.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Opiate Addiction?


  • Drowsiness

  • Changes in sleep and exercise habits

  • Losing weight

  • Often showing flu-like symptoms

  • Unexpected mood changes

  • Poor hygiene

  • Isolation

  • Stealing from loved ones and/or work

  • Financial difficulties

  • Faking pain 

  • Hurting themselves purposely to have access to pain medication

What are the Short-Term Effects of Opiates?

Opiates can have both short-term and long-term effects. Some short-term effects can include:


  • Drowsiness

  • Euphoria

  • Poor coordination

  • Excessive sleeping

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Mood swings

What are the Long-Term Consequences of Opiates?

Some of the long-term effects of opiate use can include:


  • Depression

  • Brain damage

  • Suicide

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Weakened immune system

If you or a loved one is believed to be suffering from opioid abuse or other addictions, please reach out to Sobriety Now for a consultation:  267-704 -9669


  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine (Opioid Addiction

  2. The Recovery Village (Signs, Side Effects & Symptoms Opiate Abuse)

  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (Overview on Opiates) (Opioid Overdose Crisis)

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