Drug abuse rates in the United States are higher than ever. According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), prescription drug overdoses are one of the main causes of the increase in unintentional injury deaths in America. Only car crashes claimed more lives.
Prescription drug addiction can be deadly and is so pervasive because of the easy availability of medication — it affects all walks of life. Here are warning signs you or a loved one may be addicted to prescription medication.
Proper Doses Are Not Followed
Your prescription calls for two pills twice a day, but you might take three or four pills several times a day. Or perhaps you begin crushing pills and adding them to your food and drink and lose track of how many you’ve actually taken. Regularly dismissing the amount of medication and the frequency taken is a red flag.
You Find Creative Ways to Get More Meds
You begin to think about how to acquire more drugs. This preoccupies you for the better part of the day. You might visit more than one doctor, steal, forge prescriptions, borrow money or use drugs prescribed to family or friends.
You are Dishonest about How Much Medication You Are On
When a doctor asks whether you are on any medications, do you omit a few drugs or not tell the whole truth? Or do you try to hide the fact that you are using prescription drugs from others?
You Mix Medication with Alcohol or Other Drugs
Mixing alcohol or other drugs with some prescription medications can have devastating health effects or even be fatal.
You Feel Ill When the Medication Wears Off
Common symptoms of prescription drug abusers who are ‘off’ their drugs include dizziness, shakiness/shivering, sweating, headaches and stomach aches.
You’re Having Trouble with Daily Routines
Things that used to be second nature to you have now become difficult. Daily routines or chores such as washing the dishes, driving, cooking or concentrating at work have become tricky. You may be moody and irritable.
Changing Eating and Sleeping Habits
Prescription drug addiction can cause changes to your eating and sleeping habits. You may sleep much more or less, or have trouble falling asleep. You may experience a loss of appetite, or conversely, overeat.
Your Behavior Has Changed
Maybe your co-workers have noticed your lack of concentration and a drop in productivity. Or perhaps your spouse is worried because you are no longer interested in the things you once were passionate about. Your friends have noticed you have been acting differently. Whatever it is, you are not the same person.