People often consider addiction to prescription drugs as something that cannot happen to them. After all, that only happens to people who use prescription drugs for recreation, such as teenagers. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t discriminate.
Anyone can become addicted to any drug, and that goes double for prescription drugs, which are widely available and frequently prescribed by physicians. There are many types of prescription drugs that are frequently abused.
Dangers of Getting Addicted to Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are widely considered to be safe — after all, the directive to take prescription drugs usually comes from a doctor — but the reality can be just the opposite. In fact, if taken incorrectly, prescription drugs can be even more dangerous than street drugs.
The United States Center for Disease Control states that women are four times more likely to be killed by prescription drug overdoses than by overdoses of cocaine and heroin. Additionally, prescription drugs cause more deaths than automobile accidents than guns.
Prescription Drug Addiction
Nobody who becomes addicted to prescription drugs set out to end up this way. Addiction most often happens when someone simply feels they need an extra dose of a prescribed medication, such as someone who is in such excruciating pain that they take an extra painkiller.
The problem is, their bodies become accustomed to this additional amount, causing people to feel like they need to go above and beyond the prescribed amount.
Because taking prescribed medication is a personal thing that usually doesn’t involve other people, it can be easy to be addicted to prescription drugs and not even know it. With the only check on usage being the bottom of a refill, people can keep up addictions for a long time without anyone on the outside suspecting a thing.
It’s up to the loved ones of these individuals to spot potential warning signs of prescription drug addiction.
There are some telltale signs that are often indicative of prescription drug addiction. If you or someone you know exhibit any of these behaviors, getting into a treatment program is imperative. Failure to take such action could have disastrous effects, including death.
Any drastic change that occurs is a potential sign of addiction to prescription medication. Because there are different types of prescription drugs, there are different side effects and potential warning signs.
For example, sleeping a lot more could be a sign of excessive use, but sleeping a lot less could be a tipoff as well. An inability to focus, poor coordination and irrational behavior are also symptomatic of prescription drug addiction.
Seeing some of the physical signs listed above can give you a hunch that you or someone you know is becoming addicted to prescription drugs. But the real telltale signs can be seen in the behavior of the individual. Specifically, any sort of attempted prescription-based fraud is a major sign that addiction is present.
Some of the ways that people attempt to prolong their addictions include going to multiple doctors for prescriptions, refilling prescriptions at a variety of pharmacies and claiming to lose prescriptions in order to get new ones.
The Next Step
Addiction to prescription drugs is treatable, provided the individual recognizes their problem and is willing to work towards recovery. There are many treatment facilities around the United States that specialized in helping those with prescription drug addictions.
Many of these people are able to overcome their addictions and resume healthy lives after treatment.