Millions of people across America use prescription drugs. In most cases, these medicines are used to treat ailments or chronic health conditions. However, in some instances, they are used to satisfy an urge or block out the reality of day to day life. If you’re worried about addiction, or you think a friend or relative may be abusing drugs, here are some signs to look out for.

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Common warning signs of prescription drug addiction

Prescription drugs are prescribed by health professionals. They are usually designed to ease or prevent symptoms and make you feel better. Whether you’ve suffered an allergic reaction, you have an infection, or you have back pain, you may take drugs on a regular basis. It is fairly common to experience side-effects with some types of medication. But the benefits usually outweigh the risks. That is, unless you become reliant on medicines, even when you don’t need them to treat physical pain or mental health symptoms anymore. It is most common to become addicted to painkillers, also known as analgesics. These drugs are often prescribed to treat acute pain, rather than manage chronic discomfort. Possible signs of prescription abuse include:

  • You’re constantly thinking about taking your medication
  • You take a higher dose than recommended by pharmacists or doctors
  • Looking for other doctors to write your prescriptions
  • Visiting different pharmacies
  • Ordering medicines over the Internet
  • Asking others for their medication or stealing drugs
  • Taking prescription medicines over a prolonged period of time
  • Becoming defensive if people question you about your medication
  • Changes in behavior and mood swings

What can I do?

If you think you may be addicted to prescription drugs, your first port of call should be your doctor. They can chat to you about potential treatment options and techniques, which could help you to cut down and ultimately kick the habit. There are also charities and support groups out there who can help you. You could also contact others in a similar situation via online networks. It can be very tough to admit that you have a problem with prescription drugs. But the sooner you do, the better. You can get the help and support you need before your addiction becomes even more profound.

If you’re concerned about a close friend or relative, try and talk to them about it. Be tactful and don’t go in all guns blazing. Try and encourage them to open up to you. If they don’t want to talk to you, suggest that they visit their doctor or seek help from another source, such as a charity or a therapist. Many people find it easier to speak to people they don’t know. Make sure they know that you are there to support and reassure them.

Research suggests that prescription drug abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent in the USA. If you’re worried about your own drug consumption, or you have concerns about a friend, seek help. It may be daunting to take the first step, but there are people out there who can advise and support you.