How Opiates Change Your Personality

Opiates, both prescription painkillers and also heroin, have such a high potential for abuse that they have created a public health crisis in the U.S. As doctors write millions of opioid prescriptions each year, the problem only continues to grow.

Since opioid abuse and addiction has become a topic that’s front and center in the U.S. and even around the world, there has been more attention given to the devastating effects that can occur with these drugs. Opioids are drugs that have the potential to not only diminish your health and lead to overdose and death, but they can also change your personality.

Families and relationships can be destroyed because of how opiates change your personality, and in some cases, the damage is long-term, even after someone stops using drugs.

In many cases, opiate addiction is considered a family disease because of the wide-reaching impact it has on everyone

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One of the most prominent ways how opiates change your personality happens when you’re actually using them.

There are often very noticeable changes in behavior that occur when someone is abusing opioids. First, the person may start to become so focused on using the drugs and obtaining them that their relationships start to crumble. The abuse of opioids can also lead people to start lying or being elusive because they want to keep their use hidden.

For many family and friends of people who have a problem with opioids, whether prescription drugs or heroin, lying, and sneakiness can be some of the first red flags that a problem exists. Of course, these tendencies aren’t exclusive only to exploring how opiates change your personality. These can be related to drug abuse and alcoholism of pretty much any kind.

In some cases, people who are abusing opiates will resort to criminal activity, including stealing. This is a way for them to obtain the drug. With opiates, since people often abuse prescription painkillers, they may start to take these drugs from the people around them, including elderly relatives.

Opiates profoundly change your personality not just because of the alterations they make to your brain, but because they become such a central focus in your life. The drugs are what everything else in your life can start to revolve around.  Using opioids often takes priority over not just relationships, but also school or work commitments.

Along with the behaviors commonly seen with addicts of most types of drugs, there are other ways how opiates change your personality.

First, opiates impact the opioid receptors of the brain. These are areas that control pleasure and reward. When you use opioids, it floods your brain with dopamine, and ultimately these parts of your brain become rewired.  You start to become unable to experience pleasure as you did before opioids without the use of drugs. It takes time for this personality change to go away even after you stop doing opioids.

Other ways how opiates change your personality can include:

  • People who take opiates may start to exhibit poor decision-making and judgment. This can lead to risky behaviors such as driving while taking opioids or having unprotected sex, as examples. People who are using drugs often start to engage in behaviors that the people around them feel they would have never ordinarily done.
  • Also when people take opiates, it can change their personality because they tend to become slower. This can mean a loss of coordination and slower reaction times.
  • Opiates are prescribed to people as a way to treat pain, but over time it alters the way a person perceives pain. This means that people could get seriously hurt, but because of their skewed perception of pain, they might not seek medical treatment.

These are just such a small example of how opiates change your personality.

A lot of times people on opiates will start to have problems with sleep which can include nodding off at inappropriate times, sleeping too much, or having strange sleep patterns. They may start to experience hallucinations or delusions, and they may also experience aggression, anxiety or depression.

These personality changes can continue during withdrawal when someone tries to stop using opioids and can even become more profound when coming off opiates.

How Opiates Change Your Personality
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