Watch our one-hour special as KARK 4 News Anchor talks with state leaders from the DEA, Arkansas Opioid Taskforce, Arkansas State Police, and the United States Department of Justice.

Laura also hosted a Facebook Live chat at the conclusion of the special to continue the conversation. You can watch that Q&A in the player below.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

When using opioids has caused issues like job loss, money problems, or other hardships, a person’s continued use is a major warning sign of addiction. Other signs could also include:

Trying to stop or cut down on opioid use but not being able to.
Making mistakes at school or on the job because of using opioids.
Hurting relationships with family and friends because of opioid use.
Developing a tolerance and needing larger amounts of opioids to get high.
Overdosing on drugs.
Having strong cravings for opioids.

What exactly are opioids?

Natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain, and reduce the intensity of pain signals and feelings of pain. This class of drugs includes the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain medications available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others. Prescription opioids are generally safe when taken for a short time and as directed by a doctor, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused and have addiction potential.

Support Information for Family & Friends

There are many resources available for family & friends who are coping with emotional struggles due to someone suffering from addiction, and are aspiring to seek help for the addict.
It is important to know how to help someone before you attempt to help them. Misguided good intentions could potentially be more hazardous than help in the recovery process.