SUSPICION OF OPIATE MISUSE 

​​​Clermont County Crisis Hotline: 513.528.SAVE (7283)

​​If you think your loved one might be misusing opiates, you cannot fix the problem by yourself, but there are some steps you can take:

Know the symptoms. An individual addicted to opiates may deny having a problem. Go to Identifying Opiate Misuse to learn more about the symptoms of opiate addiction.

Learn about drug addiction. Understand addiction and why someone might be misusing opiates. Don’t judge the person; focus on their behavior and your concern for their well-being. See Defining Addiction

Don’t ignore the problem or try to cover it up. This won’t make the problem go away.

Talk to your loved one about his or her drug habit. Honest feelings expressed
by people who care can help the loved one face the problem. If you believe that your loved one may
be misusing opiates, try to answer the questions below as honestly as possible. If the person is willing, you can include him or her in the discussion. (*"Drugs" is used here to refer to illicit drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol.) 

  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  • Does the person want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
  • Does he or she spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  • Does he or she have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  • Is he or she unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  • Does he or she continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Does he or she give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because
    of drug use?

  • Does the person use drugs again and again, even when it puts him or her in danger?
  • Does he or she continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  • Does he or she take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  • Has he or she developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle—like irritability or nervousness.)

​If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, your loved one might have a substance abuse problem. In the most severe cases, it is called an addiction. It can happen to people from all backgrounds, rich or poor, and it can happen at any age.

Resource: National Institute on Drug Abuse