Not everyone who uses opiate drugs such as hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone becomes addicted. Opiate are legitimately used for treating pain in many circumstances. However, sometimes people can develop tolerance, meaning they need more and more to get the same effect. Further, because opiates are highly addictive, some people go on to develop a dependence on opiates.
So how can you tell if opiate use has turned into abuse? Use the following checklist as a starting point:
- Are you preoccupied with thinking about when you can take your next dose?
- Are you worried you don’t have enough pills?
- Has your use of opiates increased over time?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using?
- Do you use more than you would like, or more than is prescribed?
- Have you experienced negative consequences to your using?
- Have you put off doing things because of your drug use?
- Do you find yourself thinking obsessively about getting or using your drug?
- Have you made unsuccessful attempts at cutting down your drug use?
- Do you get pills from other sources besides your doctor, such as friends or family or the “street”?
If you answered “yes” to two or more of the above questions, you might be addicted or heading toward addiction.
For a more detailed self test with scores, take this Drug Abuse Self Test from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. And if you suspect you or a loved one is having a problem with drugs or alcohol, don’t wait to get help or more information. Call the Painkillers Kill confidential 24/7 HOPE line at 855-969-HOPE.