There are many signs that could indicate a prescription drug addiction, some of which include forgetfulness, neglecting responsibilities, and dosage increases.
4 Signs You Are Addicted To Prescription Drugs
Around 2.1 million people are dealing with prescription drug addiction in the United States, according to the NIDA. It is one of the fastest growing types of addiction and it can pass unseen for quite some time. Knowing the signs of prescription drug addiction can help save a person’s life, possibly even your own.
1. Dosage Increases
The longer a person is on any kind of medication—over the counter, prescription, or otherwise—they tend to develop a tolerance. As a result, they will increase the amount they take of the drug against medical advice or instruction. As their tolerance increases, so does the dosage and the risk of the consequences associated with the drug. While the drug’s effect increases with the dosage, the chances and severity of the consequences also increase. Dosage increases due to higher tolerances in addicts tend to lead to fatal overdoses. Since 1999, the NIDA estimates that the number of accidental prescription overdose deaths in the U.S. has quadrupled or more.
2. Long-term Usage
Within the medical community, continuing a prescription for long lengths of time, usually well past the point where the person doesn’t need it, is a sure sign of addiction. Prescriptions are not intended to be long-term, and it’s usually for specific chronic conditions when they are. A prescription drug addict might insist that they are still experiencing symptoms the drug is supposed to treat or that they have misplaced their prescription order. Doctors and pharmacists are trained to look for some of these red flags, and are often encouraged to report it. The person with the addiction may file complaints about doctors who refuse to write the prescription or who refused to fill it as a result.
3. Forgetfulness and Blackouts
Many prescription drugs come with a long list of side effects that can potentially happen when the drug is taken correctly. The chances of those side effects kicking in increases when they are misused in an addiction. The DEA states that most drugs will affect the chemical processes in the brain, even if that is not their original intent. As a result, the person may have moments of forgetfulness about events. They may also experience blackouts as they increase the dosage of the drug or if they are mixing other harmful substances. The blackouts are often the body’s response to its inability to process large and conflicting quantities of foreign substances.
4. Neglecting Responsibilities
With any kind of addiction, the addiction itself becomes a priority in the person’s life. Their main focus is based on the substance they are addicted to, how they’re going to get it, when they’re going to get it, and how long it’ll be before the next time. It is due to this absolute focus on the substance that makes an addict’s life chaotic. Often, all other responsibilities and people in the person’s life become less important as addiction continues. Loved ones are pushed away and the person’s duties are forgotten, all in favor of the drug of choice.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, consider calling us at (800) 407-7195 to speak with one of our caring specialists for information on treatment options.