Pain medications prescribed by a doctor can be beneficial to help in the beginning part of recovery from a severe injury or major surgery; however, they should be taken with caution and under tight supervision. Using the proper amount as prescribed by your doctor and discontinuing use as soon as you can are critical if you want to avoid developing an unhealthy painkiller addiction.
Unfortunately, every year many people become addicted to their pain killers and begin down a road of dependency that is hard to leave behind. If you live in a household or good friend with someone who is currently taking prescription pain killers, these are a few warning signs that could indicate they are developing an addiction or dependency on their drugs.
The first thing you can monitor is how many pain pills a person is consuming. Even if your friend or family member is receiving legitimate prescriptions from their doctor, if they begin to consume the pills at a rate faster than is recommended on the label, there is immediate cause for concern if you notice that the person has to call their doctor for a refill before the appropriate time, which could be a sign that they were not following the recommended dosage amounts.
If your friend or family member is singularly focused on making sure that they fill their prescription as soon as they can, this can also be a sign of prescription drug abuse.
Once people become addicted to the pain medication, they will need to begin to find other sources to obtain the medicines because eventually, their doctor will start to question them about the short length of time between requested refills. Some people may try to see multiple doctors and not inform them about the treatments they are already receiving. More desperate addicts can turn to illegal drug dealers or start going through their friend’s and family members’ prescriptions looking for similar medications.
The actions of an addict will begin to change, as well. Usually, people take medication casually and are not worried about others knowing. If a person you know begins hiding their medication and is very secretive about when and where they take their medicine, this could be a sign that they are ashamed or realize they are doing something wrong.
Also, some addicts will start to alter the state of their pills to make them absorb more quickly by crushing them into a powder. If you ever witness someone doing this and then snorting the powder, even if it is a prescription drug their doctor prescribed, they most likely have an addiction or abuse problem.
Many prescription drug addicts experience withdrawal symptoms when they run out of drugs and have time before they can find more. During this time, an addict can exhibit several signs of addiction. They may become exhausted or complain of headaches and nausea. Also, many addicts in withdrawal experience trouble sleeping and begin to look for other ways to medicate themselves, such as drinking alcohol.