Prescription drug abuse has been growing for years. And the problem is compounded by the fact that a person can receive these drugs from their local pharmacy. While using the drugs as prescribed can provide many benefits, abuse of certain drugs can lead to addiction and a possible loss of life. If you think you may have a prescription drug addiction, check these possible seven signs below.
1. Overuse of Medication
Perhaps the first sign of prescription medication abuse is the overuse of the medication. It is important that you take your medication as prescribed. Powerful pain medications such as opioids can be deadly if they are seriously misused. If you are running out of your medication, before refill, then it is important that you talk to your doctor about controlling your dosage.
2. Unusual Behavior
Another early sign of people addicted to prescription medication is a general change in behavioral patterns. The person will become more secretive. They may also seek to go “doctor shopping” to get multiple prescriptions of the same medication. Those addicted to certain medications like narcotics will become more irritable when they run out of the medication for the month.
3. Financial Difficulty
Because many prescription drug addicts run out of their medication early, they will seek to purchase more medication from the black market or “on the streets.” Some people will even engage in a “pill exchange” deal with a neighbor who is taking the same medication. However, many times, addicts will try to buy these pills from drug dealers. And these pills can run for $2 per milligram. So, if a person is looking for a 30 milligram Oxycotin pill, they may end up paying $60. This could put many people in serious financial difficulty each month.
4. You Are of a Certain Gender
Statistics have shown that women are more likely to have an addiction to prescription medication. According to the 2017 report from the Office of Women’s Health, the rates of misuse is increasing, at a faster rate, among women. Between 1999 and 2015, deaths from prescription opioids have increased almost 500% among women. During the same time period, the death rate from opioids increased by about 218% in men. If you are a woman, then you may want to talk to your doctor about possible misuse.
5. Changes in Personality
As people become addicted, they are more likely to become emotional when it comes to the topic of prescription drug abuse. They will become angry and enter into deep denial if they are confronted about misuse of medication. Also, when people run out of their medication, they will begin to go through the withdrawal process. That can include thoughts about suicide. If you have any thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 or chat with a suicide prevention specialists at the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
6. Social Withdrawal
When people become addicted to prescription medication, they will tend to withdraw from their usual social events. If you find yourself not wanting to talk to or hang around with friends and family, then your addiction may be taking over a considerable part of your life.
7. Physical Symptoms
Abuse of certain medications can lead to specific physical symptoms. For instance, long-time misuse of stimulants can lead to weight loss, insomnia, and restlessness. Those who misuse pain medications such as opioids can lead to a drop in blood pressure, sweating, confusion, constipation and depression. If you are experiencing these physical changes from overuse of these medications, you should immediately meet with your primary physician.
How to Get Help
If you believe that you may have an addiction to prescription medications, then you should talk to your primary physician. Your primary doctor may be able to refer you to an addiction medicine specialist or recommend an inpatient program. You do not have to life the rest of your life addicted to prescription medication. Talk to your doctor if you believe that you need help today.
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