Largely dominated by agriculture and petroleum production, the Texas Panhandle is mostly rural with several cities located in the region, Amarillo being the largest by a huge margin. Because Amarillo is used as a major commercial transportation hub, it is also used by drug traffickers to transport opioids, methamphetamine, and other drugs. While lots of these drugs are made to leave Amarillo, a lot of them end up being sold to its residents. The city ranks in the top 25 cities for opioid abuse and addiction.
Because it is such a serious issue, it’s important to understand the warning signs of opioid addiction because it may be easier to treat someone sooner rather than later. Here are some of the common signs that you might have a problem with opioids:
1) You are using more of the drug over time.
You have been using opioids for a while, but lately, you are needing to use more of the drug in order to feel okay. You may also notice that it is taking longer and longer for your body to recover from its effects. This is a concern as the risk of overdose increases with this type of behavior because it can be very dangerous if someone has a tolerance.
2) You begin to have withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t using the drug.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and include things like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, muscle aches, or bone pain. As someone becomes more tolerant to opioids it takes a higher dose in order to feel their effects which means that when they stop taking them there is a sudden drop of opioids in the body. This can cause withdrawal symptoms because the body is used to having a certain level of opioids and when they are suddenly taken away, the body reacts negatively.
3) You are beginning to lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
You may have always loved going out with friends and spending time outdoors, but lately, you don’t feel like doing any of that anymore. This may be because all your energy is being put into getting and using opioids. You may also find yourself withdrawing from social activities or becoming more isolated as your addiction progresses.
4) Your personality is changing.
You may have always been a very cheerful person, but now you find yourself becoming more irritable and short-tempered. This is because opioids can affect the way the brain works which can lead to mood changes. Additionally, some people begin to take on characteristics of their drug of choice such as being secretive or paranoid.
5) You are spending more and more of your money on your drugs.
You may have always been careful with money, but now you find yourself spending all your money on drugs. This is because opioids can be very expensive, especially if you are buying them on the street. You may also begin to pawn or sell possessions in order to get money for your next high. It is not uncommon for those who become addicted to spend too much money without even realizing it or become desperate for more money to fund their habit.
If you recognize these signs in yourself or a loved one, there is help available. If you have insurance, the best place to get treatment would be from your primary care physician who can give referrals for rehab in the Texas Panhandle and prescribe medications if needed. In Amarillo, there are several methadone clinics that provide medication-assisted therapy as well as counseling and support. There are also plenty of treatment centers that can be found online and many will offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab packages depending on the severity of your addiction.