Prescription drug addiction occurs when an individual uses prescription drugs in a manner other than prescribed by their doctor. Prescription drug abuse is dangerous, primarily because it can lead to opioid addiction. With addiction comes an increased risk of overdose and death. The level of prescription drug addiction is staggering, with over 18 million Americans abusing prescription drugs in 2017. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to painkillers, learn the signs of a prescription drug dependency. Reach out to Greater Boston Addiction Centers online or call us at 877.920.6583 today to discover how our prescription drug addiction rehab can help.
The Phases of Painkiller Abuse
Every individual’s addiction story is personal, and there are many ways to end up dependent on prescription painkillers. However, there are common themes and phases to painkiller abuse. If any of these apply to you and your loved one, find the prescription drug rehabilitation centers near you to seek help today.
The first sign you or a loved one are addicted to prescription drugs is when you use your prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons. You may start to take painkillers without a prescription recreationally or as a way to cope with a co-occurring mental disorder or other problem. Still, these experiments with prescription painkillers are not always an indication of a dependency or desire to continue using the drugs. That said, non-medical use can be habit-forming and move you into the more dangerous second stage of prescription drug misuse or possible abuse.
For those with medical prescriptions for painkillers, non-medical use involves taking a prescription more often than prescribed, taking pills not prescribed to you, and using more than the dose your doctor has prescribed. If you are using a prescription for non-medical purposes, it could be a bright red flag that you have begun to take painkillers not only to treat pain but also to get high. For Massachusetts residents, you may need to seek drug rehab in Boston to break the cycle and get sober.
Misusing prescription drugs is like the non-medical use phase, but prescription drug abuse is now happening constantly. If you take more than the recommended dose just a few times, it is considered non-medical use, but when regularly misusing prescription drugs, you have entered phase 2 of an addiction to prescription drugs. This is a critical phase in addiction because it is here where your tolerance is being developed, meaning you will have to increase the dosage amount to experience the same high or same level of pain relief. If your prescription drug addiction can be identified here, prescription drug addiction rehab can be started and help with recovery.
Repeated and chronic misuse of prescription drugs is a clear sign of abuse. Other signs that you are suffering from prescription drug abuse include:
- Relationship problems
- Missing work
- Skipping school
- Failing to keep your commitments
- Not living up to your responsibilities
This is the stage where the warning signs of prescription drug abuse and signs of a prescription drug addiction begin to appear. Some of these common signs include:
- Obsessing about prescription drugs
- Withdrawal symptoms
The physical dependence on prescription drugs can swiftly lead to psychological dependence, and when that occurs, you have reached the treacherous final stage: addiction. Physical dependence refers to withdrawal symptoms you feel when not using prescription drugs, but psychological dependence is the compulsion to keep using the drugs despite being aware of the negative consequences to your life. Prescription drug addiction can negatively impact your:
- Physical condition and appearance
- Mental health
- Criminal record
Once a prescription drug addiction has taken hold, you may start to time your doses to never come down from the high. This path can easily lead to stealing pills, buying pills illegally, and doctor shopping.
The 10 Signs You Are Addicted to Prescription Drugs
It is important to understand and recognize the signs of prescription drug addiction in yourself and your loved ones. If you see any of these ten signs in yourself, seek out prescription drug addiction rehab.
- Continued use of the drug after the pain has stopped
- Lying about symptoms to get more prescription drugs
- Behavior changes (hostility, anxiety)
- No interest in alternative treatments
- Secretive behavior (stealing prescriptions, doctor shopping, using other’s prescriptions)
- Physical withdrawal symptoms
- Needing more of the drug(s) to ease pain or get high
- Retreating from life (family, friends activities, hobbies, and social life)
- Financial problems
- Poor decision making
Learn More at Greater Boston Addiction Centers
If you recognize yourself in these signs of prescription drug addiction, the Greater Boston Addiction Centers can help you regain your life of sobriety. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 877.920.6583 today.