Prescription drug addiction is a serious and quickly growing epidemic. It claims countless victims who fall prey to prescription pill dependency. Addiction to any mind-altering substance is dangerous and potentially lethal. However, since physicians usually administer prescription drugs, those abusing the medications feel their drug abuse is different than street drug abusers. The bottom line is that prescription drug addicts are in fact addicted, just like those who become hooked on drugs like heroin, cocaine, or other illegal substances.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Starts
Prescription drug addicts use medications to a much greater extent than the purpose for which they’re intended. Whether an individual is simply taking more than his or her dosage or actively abusing pain medications like Vicodin or Percocet, using prescription drugs in any way other than indicated can lead to an addiction to the drug. Prescription drug addicts depend on their drugs to make them feel better and can easily experience cravings between usage. Despite the negative consequences, which include relationship difficulties, problems at work, or health complications, the individual will continue abusing the drug.
Red Flags of Prescription Drug Addiction
An addicted individual exhibits many symptoms. Prescription drug abusers may complain about either vague or acute symptoms in order to obtain more medication. Additionally, they may show a lack of interest in treatment options other than medication. A habitual prescription drug abuser is prone to frequent mood swings, anxiety, and physical discomfort. Commonly, most prescription drug addicts have a past history of drug addiction and/or abuse. To hide their addiction, many prescription drug addicts will visit different doctors or pharmacies to get more pills. The addiction may take an individual so far as to steal prescription medication from others.
Once a prescription drug addict stops abusing medication, he or she will experience a variety of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Bone or muscle pain
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities