What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?Substance AbuseWhat Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

Research indicates that many people with addiction feel isolated, ashamed, and helpless. If you are worried about your drug use or that of a loved one, understanding the signs of prescription drug abuse can help you determine when it’s time to consider getting treatment.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is one of the most common issues facing Americans today. Too often, people with legitimate prescriptions find themselves addicted to the substance they were prescribed. This can happen for many reasons:

  • A doctor failing to adequately explain the addictiveness of a particular drug
  • An individual having a predisposition to drug abuse and receiving a prescription for something like opioids
  • Individuals with prescriptions for drugs no longer have their prescriptions but still struggling with pain

The unfortunate truth is far too many people are susceptible to addiction when given prescriptions, whether they know it or not. Every prescription drug has side effects. Therefore, knowing what side effects you might expect with your prescription or that of a loved one and the difference between side effects and prescription drug abuse signs is essential.

Common Symptoms of Prescription Drug Use

Many signs of prescription drug abuse can be seen at home, at work, and at school. This might include behavioral changes, mood swings, pulling away socially and isolating oneself, changes to appearance or weight, legal trouble or financial strain, or multiple prescriptions at the same time.

One of the most common prescription drug abuse symptoms is called “Doctor Shopping.” Doctor shopping is when an individual goes to multiple doctors complaining of the same symptoms. These doctors are typically not in their healthcare network but located in different cities or regions. The individuals struggling with addiction will complain about the same symptoms and receive multiple prescriptions simultaneously. 

All of these prescriptions are purportedly for the same symptoms. So, where one person might receive a prescription for one pill per day if they are doctor shopping, they might have four prescriptions, each of which says “one pill per day,” and therefore, they can use up to four times what they are supposed to. 

Other common prescription drug abuse signs include having multiple prescriptions under another name. In some cases, individuals with a substance abuse disorder will take prescriptions from others, buy prescriptions from others, or ask close friends and family to share a prescription.

Other Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

There are many other psychological, behavioral, and physical symptoms of prescription drug abuse, including the following:

  • Engaging in risky behavior while under the influence (this can include driving while high or having unprotected sex)
  • Neglecting personal or professional responsibilities (like not showing up to work on time or forgetting to attend a child’s baseball game)
  • Getting into legal trouble (often for driving under the influence)
  • Having unexplained personality changes
  • Experiencing sudden mood swings, particularly unexplained angry outbursts
  • Feeling overcome with paranoia or anxiety and engaging in secretive behavior (particularly about personal activities or drug use)
  • Changes in appetite, weight, sleeping patterns, and appearance

Depending on the substances being abused, these prescription drug abuse signs can worsen as individuals run out of prescriptions and turn to Illegal variations. For example, clients were originally prescribed opioids for pain management and eventually turned to heroin. You can prevent this escalation of addiction by getting help sooner rather than later.

Getting Help With Prescription Drug Abuse

If you notice these prescription drug abuse symptoms, it might be time to consider getting help. Many people with addiction can benefit from inpatient and outpatient levels of care. Residential or inpatient facilities give them a chance for clients to pull themselves away from their daily responsibilities or stress and focus entirely on recovery. Outpatient facilities provide a chance to utilize multiple levels of care while reaching goals and slowly reducing commitment to therapy and other services.

The best addiction treatment services are based on the severity of your prescription drug abuse symptoms or those of a loved one. Centric Group can help you determine the most appropriate level of care and find a facility with the therapies and amenities you prefer. 

If you notice signs of prescription drug abuse in yourself or someone else, reach out to Centric Group today. 

High-quality behavioral healthcare treatment.


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