If your husband, wife, or partner goes to the doctor for a legitimate injury, and they return with a prescription opiate painkiller, you may assume that the pills must be safe. Unfortunately, just one prescription of opiates is sometimes all it takes to start an addiction. As the significant other of someone with an opiate painkiller addiction, it may take some time before you spot the signs at all. Pills are easy to take and easy to hide, so it could be a full-blown problem before you suspect a thing. If you suspect your significant other is addicted to opiate painkillers, there are a few signs that can tell you it is time to talk to them about getting help.

You notice erratic changes in behavior.

When taken, opiate painkillers have the ability to provide the user with a euphoric feeling, which will be fairly noticeable from the start. However, as time goes by and an addict uses more opiates, this euphoric happiness will be less noticeable. What you will notice is changes in their mood, sometimes drastic. They may seem perfectly fine for part of the day, but get irritated easily or show signs of anger and frustration when they are out of pills.

Your significant other is making more frequent trips to doctors.

Doctors are only allowed legally to prescribe a certain amount of any medication, but regulations on opiates are pretty strict in most states. "Doctor shopping" is one way an opiate addict will try to get more pills. This involves scheduling appointments with multiple doctors to try and obtain a prescription. Some states have a registry in place which keeps track of the number of prescriptions filled by any individual, but not all of them. If your significant other is frequently changing doctors or even traveling out of state for appointments, it could be because they are shopping for a physician who will give them what they want.

You notice telltale signs of overuse of opiates.

Using opiates to an excessive degree leads to physical symptoms that you may spot even if you're not sure whether your partner is taking anything. For example, pinpointed pupils, inability to sleep, changes in appetite, constipation, and irritability are all signs of an opiate addiction. If you suspect that your loved one is abusing opiate painkillers because they are showing these symptoms, it is a good idea to talk to them candidly about the issue and whether they need help. If you're unsure of how to handle the situation, here is additional reading.

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