This is the #1 Sign You Have an Opioid Addiction Problem — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


Opioid addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the United States. It can be difficult to recognize the signs of opioid addiction, but there are some key indicators that can help you identify if you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction. In this article, we will discuss the #1 sign that you have an opioid addiction problem and provide tips on how to address it. We will also provide some helpful resources for those who are struggling with opioid addiction.

This is the #1 Sign You Have an Opioid Addiction Problem — Eat This Not That

Opioid addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the United States. It can be difficult to recognize the signs of opioid addiction, but there are some key indicators that can help you determine if you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction.

One of the most common signs of opioid addiction is a change in eating habits. People who are addicted to opioids often have a decreased appetite and may not be eating as much as they used to. They may also be eating unhealthy foods, such as fast food or processed snacks, instead of nutritious meals. If you notice a sudden change in someone’s eating habits, it could be a sign of opioid addiction.

Another sign of opioid addiction is an increase in the amount of time spent sleeping. People who are addicted to opioids often have difficulty sleeping and may be sleeping more than usual. They may also be sleeping during the day, which can interfere with their daily activities.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, it is important to seek help right away. Opioid addiction can be treated, but it is important to get help as soon as possible. Eating healthy, balanced meals and getting enough sleep can help to reduce the symptoms of opioid addiction and help to prevent further addiction.

The current opioid epidemic is often dated to the late 1990s, when Oxycontin came to market and there was a push to more aggressively treat chronic non cancer pain. While true in some respects, the bigger reality is that this is the nation’s third major opioid epidemic dating back to the late 1880s. One implication is that our current understanding of addiction and the legal and justice frameworks reflect thinking as far back as 100+ years. The ripple effects have impacted everything from housing law to welfare benefits to the healthcare system and insurance design to internet regulation. As a result, the current opioid crisis is a way to understand how our communities are responding to the struggle of economic change, a siloed and under-resourced healthcare system, and stresses from COVID disruptions and isolation. Opioid addiction is not a new phenomenon but we are in the middle of a very 21st-century epidemic. Read on to find out signs you have an opioid addiction problem—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.


A singular focus on funding, obtaining, using, and recovering from using opioids suggests that opioids have displaced most other priorities in daily life. Often this coincides with anger from friends and family, increasing isolation from prior social networks, and an inability to keep up with other responsibilities.

Woiman sitting at the table worrying about the money.

You may experience escalating use despite worsening problems in life. The crux of addiction is losing control over one’s use of a given substance. In the case of opioids, this often looks like daily (or near-daily) use amid worsening financial problems, intrusions on daily activities, and dysfunctional relationships.

stressed woman

You don’t enjoy using anymore. The drug use has become compulsive just to not feel sick and uncomfortable. So opioids help stop the suffering but there isn’t necessarily a “high” anymore. This is called negative reinforcement: when the drug use helps remove the distressing physical or psychological problems from withdrawal. Negative reinforcement is an incredibly powerful force to keep using despite all of the problems and chaos.

Female physiotherapist giving leg massage to active senior woman in sports center

While opioid molecules themselves may be non-toxic, individuals using opioids, especially those from the black market, can experience infections, injuries, and life-threatening complications from using in unsafe methods or when combining with other substances- whether intentional or not. Injecting drugs is incredibly dangerous. Drug injection was a major driver of the AIDS epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s and now contributes to elevated rates of hepatitis C among drug injectors. Additionally, the black market and online drug supply is often mislabeled and adulterated with myriad other contaminants and physiologically active compounds that can cause harm or interfere with prescribed medications for physical and psychiatric conditions.

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Male drug addict with at rave party, nightclub

Over time as someone’s tolerance increases, they often look for stronger and cheaper versions of the drug. This has led to skyrocketing rates of heroin and fentanyl use from the street (and online vendors) as opioid users had more difficulty finding affordable pills from prescribers and pharmacies.

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depressed woman talking to lady psychologist during session, mental health

Talk to people you trust: family, friends, religious leaders, etc. Tell them you need help getting connected to treatment. And find a provider or treatment program well versed in using the FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder: buprenorphine, methadone, or extended-release naltrexone. These medications are the gold standard for evidence based care and without the use of medications the great majority of patients relapse and are at elevated risk of death.

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doctor and patient having a somber conversation

Evidence based treatment is transformative and lifesaving. The longer patients stay in care, the better they do. Every day on medication (compared to skipping or quitting medication) reduces the risk of overdose death by 70-80%. It is incredibly protective, but only while someone keeps taking it. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Dr. Williams is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Division on Substance Use Disorders and Medical Director, Ophelia Health.