Prescription pain medications are among the most commonly abused drugs in the world, contributing greatly to America’s rising rate of fatal opioid overdoses. Take a moment to learn more about these addictions that hide in plain sight, and if you realize someone close to you is abusing prescription pain medicine, encourage them to seek out an opioid addiction program in Tennessee.
Prescription Medication is Accessible
Unlike most other drugs, many addicts’ first experience with prescription pain medication is completely legal. A doctor might prescribe pain relief medication for chronic pain, or a patient might be administered strong painkillers after a surgical procedure. For former addicts (especially those with severe heroin withdrawal), they might have been prescribed Methadone, Oxycodone, or another substitute opiate during detox to minimize their discomfort. Regardless of the source of their exposure, the experience of pain relief and accompanying highs can become intoxicating for the patient. As the duration of their treatment increases, so too does their risk of addiction.
Once they’re addicted, an addict is generally able to access more pain medications without the same level of difficulty as one faces when purchasing illegal drugs. Prescription drug abusers often lie to their doctor about the severity or duration of their pain to keep their prescriptions filled. When cut off, they’ll turn to new health-care providers, relying on the general disorganization of medical records to have a new prescription filled by an unsuspecting physician. If they can’t get a prescription, they might ask for or steal drugs from family and friends, which is often as simple as opening up a bathroom medicine cabinet. Addicts also can and will turn to more stereotypical, illicit means to procure pills, so health care providers shouldn’t be viewed as the only outlet for a prescription pain medication addiction.
Identifying Prescription Drug Abusers
Individuals who abuse pain medications oftentimes treat their addiction with less care and secrecy, viewing it as less severe than alcoholism or other drug addictions. This, combined with the unique accessibility of prescription medications, means that there are many signs that could help you know if someone is abusing pain medications:
- Taking larger or more frequent doses of pain medication than prescribed
- Stealing prescription medications from others or lying about their health
- Having strange mood swings, irritability, and generally altered behavior
- Demonstrating symptoms of withdrawal and frequent sickness
- Making frequent excuses to miss work and social gatherings
- Uncharacteristic tendency to spend time in private
Recovering From Prescription Pain Medication Addictions
Medicine isn’t necessarily safe just because it’s prescribed, and this is doubly true for addicts. Prescription opioid overdose kills 46 people daily. If you suspect that someone you know is addicted, confront them immediately and push them to get treatment before it’s too late. Discovery Place’s alternative treatment center can help addicts who struggle with relapse and need a stronger support system through a Long-Term Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee, so if someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug abuse problem, contact us at 1-800-725-0922 at any time of day to get them the help they need.