Because prescription drugs are legal and may be a necessity for people because of medical problems, it can be especially difficult to tell if someone is abusing them. They may need their medication for pain relief or anxiety but are taking too high of a dose without anyone realizing it.
People might also be able to obtain prescription drugs from friends or family members and begin taking the pills for non-medical reasons simply to experience a sense of euphoria. Whatever their method of abuse, it is important to try and recognize the warnings signs when people in your life have a prescription drug dependency.
The sooner you are able to realize that they have a problem, the more effective their recovery will be by getting early treatment from a rehab program. Prescription drug addiction is a serious problem that must be addressed before things progress to a more dangerous state.
Taking Higher Doses and Changes in Behavior
One of the early signs of dependency on prescription drugs is an increase their usage over time. If someone you know has been upping their dose every so often and is taking much more than they did originally then they could be developing a problem.
People who are addicted to prescription drugs grow a tolerance to their effects and start to need more and more of them to get the same relief. Along with an increase in their dose you might also notice some changes in their personality or behavior that is not usually characteristic of them.
They might have dramatic shifts in their energy, mood and concentration as they take more prescription drugs. They will probably behave differently, acting more irritable or depressed. They could also start letting their responsibilities slip by skipping work or school or forgetting about important appointments.
You might notice they are more withdrawn or are not as social as they used to be, choosing to stay home instead of spending time with others. Their addiction may cause them to be more isolated so they can continue their drug abuse alone.
Preoccupation with Prescriptions and Physical Changes
A person who is addicted to prescription drugs will continue to spend time obtaining their prescriptions and using medication even well after their medical condition has improved. They might tell people that they are still in some pain even though they have fully recovered or healed from the issues they were experiencing.
Their addiction will cause them to lie and say that they need to continue using their medication past the time recommended by their doctor. They might attempt to visit multiple doctors or drive long distances in order to find someone who will give them another prescription.
This person will be preoccupied with the quest to get more medication, making it seem like their prescription is a top priority for them. The more medication they use, the more their physical appearance might change in a way that indicates addiction.
They could have poorer personal hygiene than usual and will either gain or lose a significant amount of weight because of their drug use. They could sleep too much or too little depending on the type of medication they are taking.
If you notice several of the warning signs of prescription drug dependency in someone that you know it might be time to talk to them about the use of their medication. If other people in their life have also noticed their drug abuse then you can work together to organize an intervention and convince them to get treatment for their problem. Prescription drug addiction is a serious illness that requires professional treatment and rehabilitation to become sober again.