Prescription drug addiction is a disease that grips millions of individuals of all ages in the US each year. Unfortunately, prescription and opioid addiction numbers have skyrocketed with the plethora of opioids available on the market. Prescription drug overdoses were 5 times higher in 2016 than in 1999, causing epidemics nationwide. Knowing the most common signs that you need treatment for an addiction to prescription drugs is a way to seek the right help in your time of need.
1. Preoccupation With Obtaining the Prescription Medication
One of the most telltales signs of developing or living with an addiction to prescription medication is the preoccupation with obtaining the drugs, even if you have a prescription in your name. When obtaining your preferred prescription of choice becomes the main priority in your life, you may be struggling with an addiction.
2. Inability to Focus
Once an individual becomes heavily addicted to prescription drugs it becomes more difficult to focus when you are preoccupied with purchasing or obtaining more even while still have some. Additionally, depending on the type of medication that is taking, you may feel tired or feel unable to stay awake, especially when taking opioids or benzodiazepines.
3. Lack of Interest in Hobbies
If you have recently lost interest in hobbies that were once a source of joy in your life, you may be struggling with a growing addiction. When you are preoccupied with obtaining your prescription drug and no longer care for hobbies or activities, seeking treatment is highly advisable.
4. Social Isolation
Social isolation is another common sign that you are struggling with addiction, depression, or anxiety. Addictions wreak havoc in everyday life and lead to choosing the drugs over family, friends, and even work.
5. Mood Swings
Experiencing a major mood swing daily is not uncommon among individuals with severe addictions (both physical and mental). You may find yourself calm and happy one moment and irritated, angry, and frustrated the next.
6. Increased Irritability
Increased irritability is also a common sign that you need addiction treatment, especially if you are taking more than one prescription medication each day. Increase irritability often occurs in individuals struggling with a serious addiction and going without their preferred medication or drug. An inability to obtain the medication is a surefire way to trigger irritability in anyone whose body is expecting the drug at regular intervals.
Both insomnia and oversleeping are common signs that you are in need of treatment for an addiction to prescription medication. Falling asleep becomes much more difficult when you do not have access to a prescription drug you are addicted to or take each day. Oversleeping is also common if you are struggling with depression and social isolation. Additionally, oversleeping is more likely if you are taking prescription drugs that are linked with sleepiness such as opioids and benzodiazepines.
8. Purchasing Prescription Drugs That Are Not Prescribed to You
If you find yourself illegally purchasing prescription medication that is not prescribed to you, it is time to seek the appropriate help. Getting prescription medication from friends and even strangers is a sure sign that you are in need of speaking to your doctor or seeking the treatment you need at an inpatient or outpatient rehab center.
9. Stealing Medications or Lying to Doctors
Stealing medications or lying to doctors about your need for them is another sign that you may have developed a serious addiction to a prescription drug.
10. Adverse Health Effects
Prescription medication has the ability to cause harmful and potentially fatal effects on the body. The most notable adverse health effects that are possible with an addiction to prescription drugs include:
- Shakiness (Hands and Limbs)
- Joint Pain/Back Pain
- Severe Headaches (During Withdrawal)
- Abdominal Pain/Cramping
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Confusion/Cognitive Impairment
- Bloody Stools
Overcoming an addiction is never easy, especially if you have struggled with a severe addiction for years or even decades. Understanding the most common signs to watch for if you believe you are developing an addiction to prescription medication is essential to seek out the help and support necessary to steer clear of further temptation.
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