06 Apr Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Dependency
Prescription pain relievers are strong narcotic drugs prescribed by doctors to patients who are struggling with chronic pain disorders. These pain relievers offer relief by blocking nerve impulses that send pain senses to the brain and, in turn, create a euphoric sensation.
Long term usage of prescription pain relievers can lead to drug dependency. The body gets addicted to the drugs and if someone tries to stop taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms begin to affect their lifestyle. Long-term usage of prescription drugs can also increase tolerance to the drug. This means a person would have to take higher dosages of the same drug to relieve pain.
Among some of the most potent pain relievers are opioids. They offer a euphoric sense similar to that of heroin. The most commonly abused pain relievers are oxycodone, oxycontin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.
These drugs are very addictive. Most people get addicted to them after they start taking them as prescribed, while some take them recreationally to get a high. Both situations lead to pain reliever addiction and can result in an overdose. In the US, pain reliever drugs are one of the most frequently abused among all prescription drugs.
Signs and Symptoms of Pain Reliever Addiction
Here are some physical signs:
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Constant running nose, cough, and glazed eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Bad breath
- Unusual body odor
- Tremors, impaired coordination, or slurred speech
- Sudden weight loss
- Bloodshot eyes
Some behavioral signs include:
- Acting suspiciously
- Change in friend circles, hobbies, and hangout places
- Always asking for extra money/even stealing money from family/friends
- Drop in school/college attendance
- Bad work performance
- Getting into trouble such as car accidents, fights, or illegal activities, situations involving police.
- Sudden changes in mood, angry outbursts
- Change in personality or attitude
- Feeling agitated or dizzy, without any reason
- Lack of confidence and motivation
Here are some additional possible symptoms:
- Increase in drug usage- Increasing the dosage of pain reliever drugs over time by yourself. Building tolerance towards a drug.
- Continual usage – Continuous usage of medications even after the prescribed period is over.
- Withdrawal symptoms – Experiencing symptoms like restlessness, nausea, sweating, depression, shaking, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Blackouts – Experiencing blackouts and forgetting about people, places, or things easily.
- Increased sensitivity – Blurred vision, sounds and emotions become overly stimulating.
- Defensive – Lashing out in response to a simple question in an attempt to hide something.
Recovery from Drug Dependency
Accepting addiction is the first step to recovery. You can go to intensive inpatient treatment or detox and then enroll in a sober living house to help your recovery. Sober living houses are an excellent choice, after treatment, which can help you regain confidence and help you transition back to everyday life.