If you think someone you love could be hiding a secret prescription drug addiction, it can be an extremely conflicting and worrying time. For the loved ones of those who suffer from this condition, knowing how to spot the warning signs, and then, knowing how to help them with their addiction isn’t easy. The very fact you’re here today shows that you have real concerns and that you’re taking time to find the best way of getting help for someone you care about.

The problem with prescription drug addiction is much more common than many people believe.

Many people develop an addiction to prescription drugs before they are even aware they have an issue. Because prescription drugs are often provided to help with a genuine issue, and medically prescribed by a professional, it is one of the easiest types of drugs to form an addiction to.

In this article, we will talk about the tell-tale signs of prescription drug abuse, exploring some of the different types of prescriptions drugs that people can become addicted to, along with their individual effects. We hope that by the time you finish reading this post, you will feel more informed, and better equipped to be able to spot the warning signs of prescription drug addiction.

By taking the time to read this article about the warning signs of prescription drug problems, you are going to be able to spot the signs and help your loved one get the support they need when it matters most.

If you have concerns about prescription drug addiction and feel you would benefit from booking a session with an addiction coach, you can do that here today.

What Are the Signs Your Loved One Might Have a Problem with Prescription Drugs?

In this article, we are going to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the signs of substance-specific prescription drug problems. First of all, here is a quick summary of some of the behaviors that people display when they start to develop problems with prescription drugs.

  • Alterations to their normal sleeping patterns
  • Seemingly losing their prescriptions and needing to attend extra appointments for new ones
  • Buying across-the-counter drugs for an issue that is already getting treated with medication
  • Showing no signs of lowering their medication and repeatedly requesting refills
  • Taking more pills than the Doctor has advised or outlined on the packet
  • Borrowing or taking medication from friends and family
  • Irritability and mood swings that correlate with the absence of their prescription drugs
  • Extreme energy or behaving like they are high
  • Lethargy or appearing to be heavily sedated
  • A high-level of defensiveness, specifically if you raise questions about their medication

Just because prescription drugs are providing by a Doctor or medical professional, this does not mean that they are not as addictive or as dangerous as illegal drugs.

Now we have listed the generic signs of prescription pill addiction; we are going to provide a little more information about the substance-specific signs that are connected with substance abuse.

What Prescription Drugs Can People Become Addicted To?

First of all, we are going to outline the three core types of prescription drugs that people can become addicted to.

  1. Sedatives and/or Tranquilizers

These types of prescription drugs are typically provided to help with sleep disorders or problems with anxiety, Diazepam, Alprazolam, Xanax, Ambien, Valium, and Zolpidem are all names that are given these types of tablets. They will typically have a calming effect, and it is this feeling that people can so often become addicted to. As a person’s tolerance is built-up, the impact of the drug is reduced; it is this which leads to people wanting to take more and more over time. Some of the drugs listed above as known as benzodiazepines; which, in large doses can become quite harmful. Unless a person withdraws from taking these under specific medical supervision, the impact of stopping suddenly can be lethal.

  • Opioids / Painkillers

This type of prescription drugs is known to produce a euphoric feeling in users. Typical examples of these are referred to as Vicodin, Percocet, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, and OxyContin. While this falls under a completely different category of drug abuse, Heroin is also a type of Opioid.

  • Stimulants

There are many different types of stimulants that can result in problems with prescription drugs. Some examples of these are Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, and Amphetamines. Stimulants are normally prescribed to treat conditions such as sleep disorders and ADHD.

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Substance-Specific Signs of Drug Abuse

As we’ve already alluded to in the first section of this article, while there is a list of the typical warning signs of prescription drug abuse you can look out for, in this section, we provide a comprehensive overview of each category in order to help you further identify a potential problem with prescription drugs.

What Are the Typical Signs of Tranquilizer Abuse?

If you think someone you care for might have a problem with prescription drugs, they could be experiencing some of these issues:

  • Double or Blurred Vision
  • Wanting to spend time alone
  • The weakening of the muscles
  • Alterations to sleeping patterns
  • Alterations to eating patterns
  • Vertigo
  • Failure to perform everyday work, home, or child-related duties
  • Confusion or Impaired Memory Function
  • Slower reaction times
  • Mood Swings and increased irritability
  • Depression or Anxiety

What Are the Typical Signs of Painkiller Abuse?

If you believe someone you love might be addicted to prescription drugs, they might be showing some of these signs:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Becoming easily agitated
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constipation
  • More sensitive to sensory stimulation
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Nausea or sickness
  • Increased confusion

What Are the Typical Signs of Stimulant Abuse?

If you believe someone you know could be developing a problem with prescription drugs, they might be showing some of these signs:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Weight Loss
  • Sickness or Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating or a Fever
  • Palpitations or irregularity with their heartbeat
  • Alterations to eating patterns
  • Aggression or displaying signals of anger
  • Psychotic behavioral patterns
  • Elevated breathing rate

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How does someone behave if they are abusing drugs?

There are two different ways people behaviors typically change when start abusing drugs; these are physically and behaviourally.

Behavioral Issues to watch out for may include:

  1. They neglect to live up to their everyday duties as their focus shifts from normality towards the drugs. Whether at home, with family or at work, they become consumed with thinking about the next time they will get access to their drugs.
  2. They might start to experience problems with money or step over the boundaries in terms of legal and illegal behavior. When people start to have problems with prescription drug abuse, this can start to become an expensive habit, people might get into debt, and they so often end up on the wrong side of the law.
  3. A person can start to develop problems with their relationships, and this is across friends, family, co-workers, and partners. Conflicts arise, tempers flare, and irritability is high.
  4. People who have problems with prescription drugs might also start to become socially withdraw as they seek to keep their activities hidden from their nearest and dearest. If people they know start to see a difference and confront them about this, it can also cause them to withdraw from those relationships.
  5. When people develop a dependency on prescription drugs, they lose motivation, they don’t care about their performance, and they have very little desire to accomplish anything. They will seem forgetful, ignorant, unable to make decisions, and they will not think or act in a normal manner.
  6. A person might appear to be taking more risks than normal. Their usual patterns of logic are disrupted, and this can result in actions such as driving while under the influence, stealing, or even having unprotected sex.
  7. You might start to notice sudden and exaggerated changes to their mood. They could appear flat and lifeless one moment, and almost euphoric the next, without any justifiable or apparent reason.

Physical Issues to watch out for may include:

  1. People who have problems with prescription drugs have a tendency to appear paler or more flushed than normal; their face might also seem a little puffy.
  2. Because a person’s appetite is affected when they start to abuse prescription drugs, this can result in noticeable weight loss. In some cases, weight gain is also a possibility too.
  3. They might start to slur their speech or start saying things that don’t really sense.
  4. When an individual is abusing prescription drugs, they could start getting whole or part body tremors.
  5. Another very common physical effect of drug abuse is a complete lack of coordination.
  6. When you look at the eyes of a person who has an addiction to prescription drugs, they will more likely appear to be waterier or redder; on top of this, their pupils will either become much larger or smaller than before.
  7. Other typical physical features include a persistent cough or a runny nose.
  8. Finally, and perhaps something which is more easily noticed than any of the other symptoms is around their personal hygiene or lack of it!

As the partner, close friend or loved one of someone who is addicted to or having problems with prescription drugs, you will be best placed to spot the early signs of addiction quicker than many others. When their behaviors start to change, you will be the person who is best placed to help them get the support they need.

Booking a session with a Qualified Addiction Coach can really help kick-start the healing process, it can be used to talk, ask questions, or receive personalized advice about overcoming a problem with prescription drugs.

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