What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Abuse?

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Affecting over 2.1 million people and growing in the United States, the NIDA describes prescription drug abuse one of the most common forms of addiction. Due to its prevalence, it can be difficult for family members, friends, and the addict themselves to recognize the symptoms of prescription drug abuse.

Understanding what some of the most common symptoms of prescription drug abuse are can help those who are addicted and their families to seek help.

Seeking or Possessing Multiple Prescriptions From Multiple Doctors

Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse can cause drastic behavior and energy changes.

Prescription drugs, unlike most addictive substances, are not only legal, but heavily controlled by the federal government. A person can usually only obtain a prescription medicine through a physician. Most of the time, people who develop an addiction to prescription drugs start out with a legitimate reason for the prescription being written in the first place.

As they become addicted, they go through the prescription faster than they want and will often resort to questionable methods in order to obtain more. Occasionally, they may “lose” or misplace prescription orders and refills. Often, the person will go to multiple doctors and present the same symptoms in order to get the diagnosis necessary for the prescription to be written.

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Poor Judgement

Addiction is a defined by the NIDA as a chronic disease where the person afflicted has little to no control over their actions. The substance a person is addicted to is the one that controls them, and their main focus is the drug itself.

All decision making will revolve around the drug, either taking it, getting it, and how to continue using it without being stopped. Many people who abuse prescription drugs will do things that can be harmful to themselves or others in order to fuel the addiction.

Often, they are not aware of the severity of their actions and the consequences that those actions can have.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

Appearing Sedated or “Revved Up”

Most drugs, prescription or otherwise, come with a long list of side effects and complications. Often, the effects are the main purpose of the drug: calming if it is a sedative, energizing if it’s a stimulant, or numbing if it’s an opioid.

A person’s behavior, when they have massive amounts of the drug in their system, is usually an amplified version of the drug’s intended effects. Behavior changes and energy levels can vary based on what drug it is and how much of it that the person took.

This can actually be one of the easier ones to spot, as this symptom is usually an intensified outcome of the drug. However, behavior and energy changes can also be unintended side effects and may be listed in the written material that often accompanies prescriptions, as well as on the manufacturer’s website.

Narcotic Abuse Signs & Symptoms

Going Against Instructions

In order to for a prescription drug to have the highest effect on a person who is abusing it, they often need to go against the instructions for the medication. This can mean taking higher dosages than recommended or more frequently than instructed.

Usually, this is because they want to have the effects continue with little to no crash time in between. The person will also develop a higher tolerance, meaning that they will need to increase the dosage the longer the addiction lasts.

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There are many consequences of going against a prescriptions instructions, with the most common being a higher risk of overdosing, which can be fatal.

If you or a loved one has an addiction, consider calling us at (800) 407-7195 for more information. You will be able to speak with one of our caring specialists to find out what your options are for treatment and recovery.

the Take-Away

Knowing some of the most common symptoms of prescription drug abuse such as poor judgement and behavioral changes can help you determine whether you or someone you love needs help.