Prescription drug addiction is one of the fastest growing types of substance addiction out there. It is a significant problem for both patients as well as physicians especially when the addiction developed out a prescribed medication. This is type of scenario typically occurs when there has been a serious injury such as a vehicle crash, a chronic health condition that causes pain or any other type of back, neck or musculoskeletal injury or disease.
Often friends and family members have difficulty in determining if an addiction is occurring or if the changes they see in the individual are normal. It is normal that people that experience chronic pain or acute pain do have personality changes to some degree. However, these should not be long term and should be still reasonable within the individual’s given personality. Typically when the changes in personality are negative, destructive or causing increased
Four other major signs of a prescription pain medication addiction include the following:
1. Increased Use
As pain medication is used over time the dosage requirements will increase. This may also include addicts using multiple types of forms of the medication. It may also include combining different pain medications or pain and other medications to achieve the desired high.
2. Changes in Appearance and Behaviors
As the addiction progresses the addict becomes less and less concerned with life and more and more concerned about staying high. Emphasis is no longer on them but on the addiction.
3. Withdrawal from Family and Friends
Family and friends may be asking difficult questions and taking time from the addicts ability to stay high. As the addiction progresses more time will be spent in their own private world instead of in social interactions.
4. Defensive in Discussing Medication Use
Questions about medications, medication use or changes in behavior will cause extreme reactions on the part of the addict. They will be in denial or will simply say they are following the doctor’s instructions. Keep in mind they may actually be seeing several doctors to ensure they have a steady prescription supply.
5. Obsessive Behaviors Around Medications
More and more time will be spent trying to find alternative sources of prescription medication. They may have several prescriptions in different areas of a larger city or even in different towns. People may be buying online or from other countries on the internet where laws are less strict about buying specific types of pain medications.
Addicts may be asking others to ask for specific medications and making excuses why they cannot get the prescription on their own. They may also be stealing from other family members if they have similar prescription medications. Stealing may also extend to stealing money or items that can be sold to obtain illegal medications.
If you are concerned about a family member or friend’s possible addiction to prescription medications talk to their doctors. You may also need to take the first step to get them into an addiction therapist or counselor.