Though the signs someone is addicted to prescription drugs may vary, there are a number you can look out for in your loved ones. Addiction to prescription drugs is a growing problem that destroys both the health and lives of those afflicted, as well as deeply impacting the lives of those who love them.
Symptoms and signs vary so much because it largely depends on which prescription drug or drugs are being abused, how long this has been taking place, and how much of the drug is taken on a daily basis. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, know you’re not alone. Our qualified team of caring professionals are here to help and guide you on your journey towards a life without substance abuse. We have the tools and knowledge needed to help you or your loved one manage symptoms in a way that makes life seem possible and your own again.
Psychological Symptoms and Signs
There are a variety of ways in which prescription drug addiction can manifest to those around an addict. The changes in mental status may be subtle at first, but as the addiction tightens its grip, they intensify. You or your loved one might experience feelings of depression or anxiety, often due to the lack of progress that is happening in their lives. If there were any previous mental health conditions, they’re likely to be worsened by prescription drug abuse. They may also become flat emotionally, always in a down state.
They may snap at others they love, become irritable over trivial things and occurrences, or even lash out with physical and verbal aggression. You may notice them becoming confused, paranoid, or having troubling with their memory and performing basic tasks. While using, an addict may have a feeling of euphoria. This may be hard for an onlooker to notice, but if paired with the negative psychological symptoms like depression and agitation, the stark contrast will be evident if you look for it.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
These signs are typically the easiest to spot, along with changes in behaviour. Even as a loved one as an addict, it’s easy to notice these physical changes, which will be most obvious while the user is actively under the influence. During this time, the users words may slur as if they were drinking. They may have a racing heart, feel shaky and unstable, or have a drop in body coordination.
If a large quantity of the drug was consumed, the user may even lose consciousness, an extremely scary occurrence. Before this body temperature may rise sharply or even fall, depending on the medication, and the speed of breath may change as well. Other physical symptoms are more generalized and may happen for a variety of reasons:
- The long-term effects of the medications
- Withdrawal if the user has attempted to stop or run out
- Breakdown in general health
These symptoms include common ailments like a frequently upset stomach, recurring headaches, and changes in bowel movements like constipation. Appetite is often affected, leading to changes in weight, strength, and physical appearance. The most common physical sign is likely to be noticed by the addict themself and no one else: an increased tolerance and intense cravings for their drug of choice.
Behavioral Changes and Signs
These behavioral changes will increase in intensity as the addiction deepens, until the problem becomes so obvious everyone around the user will know something isn’t quite right. They may:
- Try to get the same prescription from multiple doctors
- Become secretive or agitated when drug use is questioned
- Go through filled prescriptions faster than intended
- Order prescriptions online in an attempt to obtain more or avoid seeing a doctor
- Neglect their responsibilities or personal hygiene
- Miss school, work, or other events
- Lose interest in what once brought them joy
- Socially isolate themselves
- Lie or steal to obtain more drugs
Helping Yourself or Your Loved One Overcome Prescription Drug Addiction
The best way to get you or your loved one help in overcoming addiction is a qualified treatment center. An individual may try to quit on their own many times before finally making the decision to seek professional help. Remembering to be patient with your loved one is key in the treatment process. If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. Call us today at 844-639-8371 and we’ll help get the process rolling.