When Prescription Drug Use Becomes Abuse: How to Spot the Signs

When Prescription Drug Use Becomes Abuse: How to Spot the Signs

Pain is a double-edged sword in that it is both dreaded and useful at the same time. On one hand, pain teaches us to avoid fire, sharp objects, poison, cliff edges and many other things that could do us harm. On the other, depending on the duration and intensity, it ranges from unpleasant to unbearable. 

Fortunately, thousands of years of scientific research have brought us powerful opioid-based painkillers that help to reduce, relieve and manage pain. Taken for short periods and in prescribed doses, these prescription drugs do their job well. It is only when they are abused that they can have devastating consequences.

Painkiller Addiction - A National Crisis

According to a 2018 study, 128 people die every day in America from opioid overdose and misuse. When you think of opioid abuse, you may instantly think of heroin and fentanyl addiction but prescription painkillers can be just as dangerous. It’s no surprise that painkiller abuse can lie undetected for a long time. After all, those little bottles of prescribed pills will always look less harmful than street drugs injected with a needle. 

Painkiller addiction can damage and destroy many areas of life, including performance at work, relationships with family and friends and general health. It is critical to be aware of the signs and symptoms of painkiller addiction so that you can get the help you need or seek help for a loved one. This help should be in the form of professional treatment, such as a prescription drugs detox and ongoing therapies tailored to the needs of the patient. 

What Are the Common Signs of Painkiller Abuse?

The signs and symptoms of painkiller abuse and addiction can vary and will depend on a wide range of factors. These factors may include the type of painkiller drug that is being taken, the frequency and dosage of the painkiller and also how it affects people differently. However, the physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms will typically include some or all of the following:

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Taking more painkillers than prescribed and finding it hard to stop taking them. 
  • Poor attendance or performance at work. 
  • Becoming socially withdrawn. 
  • Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable. 
  • Lying and being dishonest about the extent of painkiller use. 
  • Using painkillers in situations where it is dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery. 
  • Using painkillers even after the legitimate symptoms they were originally used for have subsided. 
  • Stealing or borrowing prescription painkillers. 
  • Visiting many doctors in an attempt to acquire multiple painkiller prescriptions. 
  • Ordering prescription painkillers over the Internet. 
  • Evidence of drug paraphernalia, such as needles and syringes used to inject painkillers.
  • Lack of interest in personal hygiene and grooming.
  • Breakdowns in relationships. 
  • Financial problems. 
  • Problems with law enforcement leading to arrest and imprisonment. 

Physical Symptoms:

  • Dilated or pinpoint pupils.
  • Problems with coordination.
  • Excessive sweating. 
  • Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns. 
  • Itchiness.

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Poor judgement. 
  • Struggling to concentrate or focus. 
  • Dizziness, confusion or disorientation. 
  • Delusions and hallucinations. 

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Mood swings. 
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.

The Dangerous Impact of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Painkiller abuse can go undetected for weeks, months and even years. The impact can be devastating on the body the longer the addiction continues and can be fatal at any point if an overdose is taken. When somebody develops a painkiller addiction, they are more likely to take higher and higher doses. This can lead to respiratory problems, a slow heart rate and could cause the person to stop breathing altogether. 

Prescription Drug Detox: The First Step Towards Recovery

The first step towards recovery and rehabilitation is a prescription drug detox. This process is designed to remove all toxins that prescription drugs leave behind in the system. Our medically-supervised drug detox program emcompasses a number of exceptionally effective therapies and medicines that help to ease discomfort and withdrawal symptoms helping patients to start their road to recovery. Our intravenous prescription drug detox also replaces these toxins with essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, amino acids and oxygen.

The Importance of a Medically Supervised Detox

Undergoing prescription drug detoxification should always be carried out under medical supervision. Detoxification is not without its risks but undergoing withdrawal under the careful watch of a dedicated medical support team will help to keep these risks at an absolute minimum. 

At Wish Recovery, our luxury rehab center in Los Angeles offers prescription drug rehabilitation and personalized treatment in a safe, supportive and serene environment. No matter what the stage of addiction or how many times recovery has been attempted, we tailor our services and treatments to suit the very unique needs of every individual. 

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