With essentially every demographic in the country being affected by opioid use, it is becoming increasingly more important to educate yourself and those around you on the devastating effects these drugs can have on a person’s well-being.

While the toll these substances can take on each individual can vary, there are several commonalities, in both physical appearance and behavior, that can give you an idea as to what opioid addiction looks like and how you can help those around you.

The Physical Effects of Opioid Addiction

Changes in Weight

Opioid use can lead to sudden and drastic weight loss, especially in those who use heroin, as the drug can act as an appetite suppressant. This weight loss can also be the result of malnutrition if the people using spend their money on drugs rather than food. In certain cases, opioid use can also lead to weight gain as certain drugs, such as prescription medications, can lead to increased sugar intake.

Skin Marks

For those who take opioids intravenously, there may be signs of drug use on their bodies. Common signs tend to be puncture wounds, scabs, and scars from where needles would enter the skin.

Poor Coordination

Especially while under the influence of opioids, a person’s coordination can be severely affected. They may seem incapable of maintaining their balance, display poor motor skills, and even have slurred or garbled speech.

Behavioral Effects of Opioid Addiction


Whether they want to avoid judgment from those around them or spend more time with other people who use, those struggling with opioid addiction can often end up isolating themselves from friends or family or seem to go missing for extended periods of time.


Since opioids have such a tolling effect on those addicted to them, these people may end up lying to their loved ones about their whereabouts or actions or to doctors about their pain, potentially making it up to get another prescription or going to multiple doctors for the same drug.

Mood Swings and Irritability

If a person goes too long without using opioids, they can experience radical mood swings or become increasingly more irritable. This behavior can worsen over time, especially if they go into withdrawal, making it all the more important to get them help sooner rather than later.

Recovery isn’t easy, but neither is being addicted to opiates. If you’re ready, treatment at Silvermist can help guide you through each step of the recovery process with a high level of support and encouragement along the way.

Contact us today to speak to one of our intake specialists about getting the help you need and deserve.