Physical Symptoms

  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow movements
  • Extreme fatigue (to the point of nodding in and out of consciousness)
  • The use of laxatives (opiates can cause extreme constipation, and the sudden need for laxatives can be a give-away sign)
  • Itching and scratching
  • Needle marks (track marks) or a sudden insistence on wearing long sleeves at all times; this could also be a sign of self mutilation
  • Pinpoint pupils (abnormally small pupils are a telling sign of opiate use)
  • Bursts of energy followed by sudden extreme fatigue
  • Heavy sweating

Other Signs of Opiate Use

  • Unexplainable financial problems (illicit opiates are expensive, and opiate users develop a tolerance quickly, which dramatically increases the costs of their habit)
  • Unexplained legal problems
  • Bent and burned spoons
  • A sudden change in friends (drug addiction often causes a switch away from long-standing friends, to newer and less acceptable associates)
  • Items disappearing around the house or the sale of personal items
  • A sudden drop in school or work performance

REMEMBER: Someone who uses opiates for medical reasons can also become addicted. Use as prescribed and be very cautious.