Almost any drug can become addictive. Some of the most commonly abused drugs are those that when prescribed by a doctor can be very beneficial. Pain medication poses many dangers to patients who continue taking them after their recommended dose. Most doctors exercise caution when prescribing pain medication because misuse can cause serious damage and in some cases can cause death. To protect yourself from becoming addicted to these potentially harmful pills you should only take what is absolutely necessary when they are prescribed by your doctor.
If a family member or friend is currently taking pain pills prescribed by their doctor, keep an eye out for suspicious behaviors. Watch for common behaviors that are often indicators that someone is addicted to their pain medication. There is no better cover for an addict than to have an addiction to something their doctor says they can take.
The first sign someone may be abusing their pills are jokes about them. If someone is always mentioning how good the pain medication makes them feel, or joking around about getting more from somewhere, you should not just brush their comments off. They may be trying to feel out how others will react to what they know is unhealthy behavior.
You can also monitor how many pills they are taking and how often they take them. If your friend or family member runs out of pills quickly or needs to request a refill before the allowed time, they may be consuming more pills than is recommended, selling them, or offering them to someone else. If they begin consuming the pills at a rapid rate they will quickly become addicted and begin following the regular patterns of an addict. Some people become obsessed with taking their medication and have trouble doing anything other than planning to take their medicine, getting the prescription refilled, or visiting the doctor to get another prescription.
After a severe addiction has developed, a pain pill addict will run out of prescriptions because their doctor will refuse to refill them after a while. Many addicts will begin visiting a number of doctors to try to get multiple prescriptions that will last longer. Others will complain of pain and seek treatments for fake illnesses. Those addicts who become desperate may steal or seek out drug dealers to feed their habit. Buying illegal drugs on the street is very dangerous because there is no way to know exactly what you are getting.
Like any other drug addict, people who are addicted to pain medications may begin taking their pills in secret and become very defensive if you walk in on them while they are doing it. Addicts know what they are doing is wrong and do not want to get caught. Hiding medicine in unusual places, or becoming irritable whenever the subject is brought up are both signs that someone is abusing their prescription medication. Once an addict begins to take more and more pills they will search for new ways to feel the effects of the pills faster. Some addicts will even crush up the pills so they can be snorted like cocaine.