Modern medical science has improved the quality of life for many people. Millions who would otherwise be faced with a lifetime of pain are able to find relief, thanks to prescription painkillers like Vicodin,Percocet, and Oxycontin.
Unfortunately, for some, the allure of prescription drugs becomes too much. Regular use becomes abuse, which ends in full-blown addiction and dependence. There are, fortunately, warning signs of prescription drug addiction. If you notice them in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to consider finding professional help.
Some of the warning signs of prescription drug addiction include the following:
- Increase in Usage - Because prolonged use of many prescription medications leads to increased tolerance of the drug and lower efficacy, people who may be becoming addicted have to use increasing amounts of it just to feel normal.
- Withdraws from Society - A potential addict will begin to draw away from family, friends, and co-workers.
- Spends Time Getting Prescriptions - A dependent individual will seem preoccupied with getting more of the drug, sometimes driving or waiting for hours or visiting multiple doctors to get a prescription.
- Personality Changes - While shifts in mood or energy level can be caused by many things, in combination with any of the other warning signs, they may indicate a fledgling problem.
- Continued Use - If a person continues to use a painkiller even after the pain or condition has resolved itself may be at danger of developing a dependence on it.
- Changes in Daily Routine - Daily habits will typically change for a person becoming addicted to a drug. Hygiene will suffer, and the person may have trouble eating or sleeping regularly. These changes may get worse as the addiction grows more serious.
- Suddenly Irresponsible - Drug addiction can cause a person to ignore prior responsibilities, including work, household chores, family obligations, and bills.
- Overly Sensitive - Signs of overstimulation may appear, including sensitivity to light and sound, or overreactions to emotional input. Hallucinations may also occur, although this can be harder to detect.
- Forgetful - Blackouts or periods of forgetting previously made plans are classic symptoms of impending dependence on prescription drugs.
- Defensive - When confronted about their problem, a drug addict will become defensive, lashing out at family and friends who show concern. Even simple questions can trigger violent outbursts.
If you or a loved one demonstrate one or more of the above warning signs while taking a prescription drug, it is important to consider the possibility of addiction. As wonderful as modern pharmaceuticals are when used correctly, they all carry the huge risk of leading to addiction. By recognizing the signs early, you can stop addiction before it gets worse.