Problems In Different Areas Of Life
Signs of addiction can surface in different areas of a persons life. If a persons psychological dependence drives them to illegally obtain and use drugs, they may be subject to legal consequences. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency maintains a list of illicit substances and the legal consequences for people who use them.7
Other areas of your loved ones life that addiction can impact include.4,5
- Participation in hobbies or other valued activities
Youve Noticed Missing Money Items Or Medications
If you live with a suspected pain pill addict, you may have noticed that some objects around your house have gone missing. It could be your favorite pair of diamond earrings or a brand-new iPod or TV. It could even be items like clothing or decorations. While it may be hard to believe, the person youre living with could be selling these for money to buy more prescription drugs to support their habit.
Its no surprise, then, that you may have also noticed some of your cash has gone missing. Or maybe a credit card that you simply thought you left at a restaurant and had to cancel. And though your loved one may put on a convincing show of ignorance, this pattern of events may be far too regular to be random.
Watch out for missing medication as well. Though you may not be holding their exact drug of choice, they might still be traded or sold on the streets.
Physicians Can Misdiagnose A Prescription Drug Abuse Problem And Bypass The Suggestion Of Drug Abuse Rehab
Although marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the United States, the most common prescription pill addiction has been opioid-based pain medicines in recent years. In 2014, an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States suffered from an opioid pain medicine abuse disorder. Other sedatives, as well as stimulants such as adderall or ritalin, or antianxiety medicines such as benzodiazepines are all also commonly abused, but not to the epidemic proportions that opioid abuse is reaching.
It can be a difficult subject to breach with our patient, but a clinician with a keen eye can notice symptoms that indicate prescription drug abuse is occurring , often before our patient is ready to admit the problem and opt for drug abuse rehab. It is also common for friends, family or those close to a chronic abuser to notice the symptoms and report the instance to a professional in order to get the necessary help for their loved one. The following are signs that indicate pill addiction and could help identify any clients that may be abusing them:
- Appearing unusually sedated or energetic.
- Seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Asking for multiple increases in dosage
- Poor memory
- Trouble with coordination or walking awkwardly
- New or worsening depression, anxiety or irritability
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Material Signs Of Drug Addiction
Physical clues may be evident of substance misuse. Take note of any paraphernalia that you encounter, such as:
- Pill bottles for someone elses prescriptions
- Baggies or containers used to store or transport substances
If you have concerns, ask questions. Taking an open, curious, and compassionate approach to discuss your concerns can foster supportive conversation. Prioritize safety and set firm limits to protect yourself, your family, and any other people who may be affected by your loved ones substance use or addiction.
Can Opioid Addiction Be Prevented Or Avoided
Many people are able to use opioids safely without becoming addicted to them. But their potential for addiction is high. This is especially true if you use them for long-term pain management.
In general, you are more likely to avoid addiction if you can use opioid drugs no longer than a week. Research shows that using them for more than a month can make you dependent on them.
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Changes To Physical And Mental Health
It may be possible to recognize addiction if someones health changes for the worst. Drug addiction is associated with a variety of health issues, including:
Bloodshot or glazed eyes
Memory loss or problems with recalling information
Apathy, or lack of motivation or care
Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
Its important to remember that health changes can occur for other medical reasons besides drug addiction. Its also common for those with drug addiction to downplay the seriousness of any health problems they are experiencing. If you are concerned about someones declining health and well-being, and there is no other explanation, there is an increased chance of a hidden addiction.
Signs Of Prescription Pill Addiction
Identifying abuse and addiction with prescription medications is more complicated than with illicit drugs. Doctors may instruct people to take some prescriptions, like the anti-anxiety depressant Xanax, at the onset of an acute anxiety episode. However, most users need to take prescription pills consistently to maintain their therapeutic effects. Someone taking oxycodone, for example, may need to take the medication every 4 to 12 hours, depending on its formula.
Many people dont see anything wrong with taking an extra pill every now and then, but any use of prescription medication outside of the prescription guidelines constitutes misuse. When someone becomes addicted to pills, they will start to display heightened side effects of the medication which may become apparent to those close to them. The possible side effects vary among classes of drug.
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Legal Drugs Vs Illegal Drugs
People can become addicted to illegal drugs, legal drugs, and prescription medications used in an unhealthy way, such as:
Nicotine, including cigarettes and vaping
Misusing prescription medicines like opioids, or over-the-counter medicines by taking them in a different way than intended, such as:
Taking medicine prescribed for someone else
Taking a larger dose than prescribed
Using the medicine in a different way than directed, such as crushing and snorting or injecting
Using the medicine to get high on purpose
The risks and speed of developing an addiction depend on the drug. Some drugs, like opioid painkillers, cause addiction very quickly. Drugs have a strong effect on the brains reward system, by filling the brain with a chemical called dopamine which produces the feeling of being high. Over time, the brain gets used to the larger amount of dopamine so it needs larger doses of the drug to get high. Some people might feel like they need the drug to just feel normal. When drugs are used for a long time, they damage the areas of the brain responsible for judgment, decision-making, memory, and learning.
No matter the type of addiction, if you recognize symptoms, it is important to seek the necessary help. Contact us today to take the first step.
Be Aware Of Your Own Behavior
While this final tip might seem a bit counterintuitive, sometimes taking a look at how you are acting around someone can be the final push you need to realize that they may have a problem with prescription pills.
If you find yourself continually making excuses for their behavior, ignoring telling signs of addiction, and consistently covering for them when theyre unable to fulfill their responsibilities, you may actually be enabling their prescription drug abuse addiction.
So, while you may not be the direct cause of their substance use disorder, your actions might still be making the situation worse.
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What Are Physical Signs Of Drug Abuse
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of drug use are those that affect certain physiological processes. For example, your bodys tolerance to a drug develops when a drug is used long or often enough that it adapts to the consistently elevated presence of the substance. When tolerance grows, increased quantities or strengths are required to achieve the previous effects.1
Individuals using a drug to get high may come to take such large doses to overcome their tolerance that they place themselves at increasing risk of potentially fatal overdose.3
Changes in appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include:4
- Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
What If The Person Doesnt Want Help For Drugs Or Alcohol
Ultimately, its the persons decision whether to seek professional help. Many people who misuse drugs or alcohol find it hard to ask for help at first, but may want to reach out later on. Be careful not to nag the person, since this might discourage them from opening up in the future.
Clearly state any behaviours you expect, or wont tolerate, from the person. You might not accept drug use in your home, for example.
Encourage the person to use safely to minimise the risk of harming themselves for example, through needle and syringe programs or opioid replacement programs.
Its important to know that you cant force the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Only they can choose to change.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction How To Tell If Someone Needs Help For A Drug Problem
Understanding the science behind addiction can be complicated. Some people might think that people become addicted if they dont have any willpower or good morals. In actuality, addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease that can affect people from all backgrounds. It can happen to anyone at any age.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted because drugs have a different effect on everyone. Some people use drugs experimentally on occasion in a social setting. However, if usage becomes more regular, some people lose the ability to control when and how much they are using. Over time, drugs change behavior and how the brain, body, and mind function. This is how drug addiction, medically known as substance use disorder, develops. These changes can be long-lasting and cause stressful problems like missing work, legal issues, physical health problems, and trouble with family and friends.
Signs Of Pill Addiction
Signs of addiction behaviors are not always conclusive evidence that your loved one has a drug problem, but if you notice that your loved one is exhibiting behavioral signs on a consistent basis it can mean that there is a problem. Each drug or alcohol-type has its own unique set of effects that can influence the addicts behavior. It is important to be aware of the variety of behaviors that often accompany drug and alcohol addiction, especially if your loved one is not acting like his usual self. Signs someone is addicted to pills may include any of the following:
Erratic or strange behavior can also be symptoms of the effects of painkillers. Being overly sensitive, defensive or hostile can be other effects of addictive pills. Any consistent behavior that is not the usual behavior of your loved one can be a sign that something is amiss.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at . Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.
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Common Prescription Opioid Pills
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from the poppy plant or synthesized to resemble similar compounds. Opioids help treat pain. The active chemicals in these painkillers bond with receptors in the brain and throughout the body, causing changes in how the brain perceives pain. They are effective medications when taken as directed, but they are also so powerful they can easily cause physical and mental dependence. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed opioids:
These drugs, particularly those formulated with oxycodone and hydrocodone, are vastly overprescribed in the United States and have been for years. In 2017, these disturbing statistics took the spotlight:
- There were nearly 58 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Americans.
- More than 17% of Americans had one or more prescriptions filled.
- On average, people filled more than three prescriptions per patient.
Between 21 and 29% of people prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them. Somewhere between 8 and 12% go on to develop an opioid use disorder. More than 130 people die from opioid overdoses every day.
Warning Signs Of Drug Abuse
Use of recreational drugs, over the counter medications or prescription drugs can lead to substance use issues. It can frequently lead to problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, and leave the user feeling isolated, helpless, or shamed. If youre worried about your own or a loved ones drug use, its helpful to know the warning signs and more importantly, that help is available and treatment works.
Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse
- Risk taking when youre using, such as driving, having unprotected sex
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work,or homr
- Legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence
Physical warning signs of drug abuse
- Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
- Changes in appetite, sleep patterns, physical appearance
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing, or impaired coordination
Behavioral signs of drug abuse
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
- Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
Psychological warning signs of drug abuse
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, spaced-out, or angry outbursts
- Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason
For immediate help and information on treatment, contact the RedlinePhone: 889-9789
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The Importance Of Early Intervention & Treatment
If drug use is suspected, early invention is essential to ensure the most robust chances of successful recovery. Friends and family members may choose to stage an intervention once signs of drug use are apparent if so, a professional interventionist can guide the planning process and the execution of the event for best results.
Loved ones should also research comprehensive addiction treatment programs. Treatment should include both medical detox and therapy to address the underlying issues related to substance abuse.
Youve Noticed Changes In Their Physical Appearance
If someone you care for becomes addicted to prescription meds, its likely theyre going to undergo a few physical changes at the same time. Some of these changes might be due entirely to the physical effects of the drugs themselves.
Stimulants, for example, are sometimes prescribed to help with weight management. As such, someone who is abusing this class of drug could show signs of rapid body fat loss. Conversely, other prescription drugs, depressants especially, will often carry with them the side effect of rapid weight gain. As a rule of thumb, if you suspect someone is abusing prescription medications, be on the lookout for any unusual weight fluctuations.
Prescription drug abuse, like most other types of abuse, will also typically have a profound effect on the users hygiene, grooming, and general physical appearance. They may go from showering every day to bathing every few days. Or maybe they used to spend a fair amount of time doing their hair in the morning and now they dont even bother. Some people may even switch up their entire wardrobe, going from perhaps a suit and tie to t-shirts and sweatpants.
Substance addiction is a change in the fundamental chemistry of the brain. Through addiction, an addict becomes physically hardwired to seek out more of the substance. As such, the reward felt from maintaining a clean, put-together physical appearance pales in comparison to the reward from using again. So be sure to be on the lookout for these types of changes.
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How To Know If Someone Is Addicted To Prescription Drugs
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.
What Is Drug Or Alcohol Misuse
Drugs are substances that affect how the body functions. Illegal drugs such as ecstasy and heroin can be harmful and unpredictable. Unlike prescription medicines, there is no government organisation that regulates the quality or amount of active ingredients in illegal substances.
However, not all drugs are illegal. Alcohol is a legal drug that can be harmful if taken in large amounts or for a long time. Medicines that have been prescribed by a doctor can also be harmful if they arent taken as directed or are taken for non-medical reasons.
Drug and alcohol misuse isnt necessarily related to how often or in what quantity a person uses drugs, but the impact their drug use has on their life. Drug or alcohol use can become a problem when it starts to affect a persons judgement, relationships or general health and wellbeing. It can cause them to neglect other responsibilities such as school, work or family.
Drug and alcohol misuse is common. About 1 in 3 people in Australia drink alcohol at risky levels. Two in every 5 people in Australia have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives, including taking pharmaceutical medicines for non-medical purposes.
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