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A Quarter of Bay Staters Know Someone Who Died of Opioid Overdose

A new study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts was released in March 2018, detailing the severity of opioid addiction and abuse in the Bay State. Sadly, the report found that a majority of people in the state know or have known someone who struggled with opioid addiction, and a quarter of residents knew someone who died of an overdose. These individuals could have been a friend, an acquaintance, or a family member.

The survey also found that 7 in 10 Massachusetts residents called the opioid crisis a “very serious problem,” as well as an issue that is much worse than just the amount of money it is causing the state.

The executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center Michael Botticelli had this to say about the study: “This is not an abstract concept for people. This is being driven by a deep personal connection.”

How Do I Know My Loved One Is Using Opioids?

It can be very difficult to admit to yourself that you are afraid your loved one is using these dangerous, deadly drugs, but if you are ready to begin looking for the signs, you can easily determine if a friend or family member is abusing opioids. In the case of this particular type of substance abuse, the individual will…

• Have small pupils while high (National Library of Medicine)
• Be confused, sleepy, and fatigued while high
• Act secretive or want to spend lots of time alone
• Have all knew friends suddenly
• Experience consistent physical issues like dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and dry mucous membranes
• Shirk their responsibilities in favor of using drugs
• Get in trouble at school or work
• Experience flu-like symptoms when unable to obtain more of the drug
• Hide pill bottles, needles, and other drug paraphernalia in their room or house

The individual may also become hostile or extremely upset if you bring up their drug abuse in a negative light. They may pick up strange sleeping and eating habits, lose weight, and/or neglect their personal hygiene. When you begin to notice multiple symptoms like those discussed here, it is likely time to seek help.

Can Opioid Detox and Rehab Save My Loved One?

Yes. If you have someone in your life who is addicted to and dependent on opioids, detox and rehabilitation will be able to help them go through withdrawal safely and it could save their life. Beginning a recovery program allows the individual to adjust to life without drugs and to learn how to cope with the underlying symptoms that may have been to blame for the addiction.

• Detox can include the use of medications like clonidine, methadone, or buprenorphine to treat withdrawal symptoms. Some patients may even choose to be maintained on one of the latter two drugs rather than fully going through withdrawal.
• Behavioral therapies can also be helpful during detox, as they can treat co-occurring mental disorders and prepare the patient for addiction treatment.
• However, one must follow up detox treatment with rehab. Without rehab, the individual could be extremely vulnerable to relapse and potentially overdose when this occurs. The NLM states that this is the most likely time in which a deadly opioid relapse could occur.

Get help today for your loved one by calling 800-481-6320. We are available 24/7 to assist you in finding safe detox and rehab facilities near you.

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