It is estimated that more than 12 million people currently abuse prescription drugs in the United States. This is more than the combined number who abuse cocaine, heroin, inhalants and hallucinogens. Nearly three-quarters of these individuals abuse opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and Oxycodone. The statistics are both alarming and important to know if you are concerned about a loved one who may be abusing prescription drugs.
The reality is that prescription drug abuse is a common problem that affects people from all walks of life. The problem often starts innocently through efforts to control pain or anxiety and escalates unintentionally through misguided prescribing practices of doctors. While these medications can be safe when used as prescribed for specific health issues, they can be dangerous at higher dosages or when taken for reasons other than intended.
Identifying The Signs And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Addiction
If you believe that a loved one is suffering from prescription drug addiction, it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of abuse. For opioid painkillers, the physical symptoms can include:
- Low blood pressure
- Poor coordination
- Profuse sweating
Of course, these symptoms may sometimes be difficult to identify. Other signals that often appear more obvious are these behavioral signs:
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Mood swings
- Taking higher doses of a medication than prescribed
- Changing sleep patterns
- Frequently “losing” prescriptions or changing doctors to obtain prescriptions from more than one doctor
If you are noticing these symptoms or other unusual behaviors, your loved one may be addicted to prescription drugs and in immediate need of help. Prescription medications are highly addictive, and they have the ability to change brain function over time. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious. Thus, simply asking them to go “cold turkey” could be dangerous.
Don’t Wait – Get Help Now!
An addiction to prescription medications will not go away on its own. If left unaddressed, the problem will become more serious and can eventually be fatal. Identifying prescription drug addiction as soon as possible is vital. If there is a problem, the best solution is professional addiction treatment to enable your loved one to get the in-depth help they need to detox and embrace long-term recovery.
We encourage you to call us to learn more about customized addiction treatment programs at Summit Estate Recovery Center.
Help Is Available – Call Now!