Prescription painkillers are some of the most commonly-prescribed medications today. While not always synonymous, opioids are typically what is being discussed when it comes to prescription painkillers. Being addicted to painkillers is an increasingly common phenomenon, which has fueled the opioid crisis. One factor driving that crisis is the overprescription and fraudulent marketing behind opioids as safe and non-addictive.
Opioids have a critical role in sound medical practice, but they can be addictive. Unlike other drugs whose presentation of addiction is more obvious, opioids often fly under the radar. You may not be aware when an addiction to painkillers is plaguing someone you love, but you can quickly figure out how to tell if someone is addicted to painkillers. Find out more about the prescription drug addiction treatment program at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® by calling 855.773.0614.
How to Tell if Someone Is Addicted To Painkillers
Addiction to painkillers makes itself known through behavioral, physical, and psychological signs.
Behavioral Signs of Painkiller Addiction
Most people’s behavior changes when they are addicted to painkillers. They often forsake their past habits and relationships to fuel their addiction. One hallmark of addiction to painkillers is doctor shopping. When one prescription is running out or has ended, people may go to a different doctor to try to get a new prescription for the same problem. They may also try to stack prescriptions so that they can take more of the drug at once.
Another aspect of behavior to watch out for in someone you suspect is struggling with painkiller addiction is their sociability. Often, addiction disrupts a person’s social life. They may withdraw from family or social engagements without offering valid reasons. They may become more secretive or let work responsibilities slip.
Physical Signs of Painkiller Addiction
The physical signs to watch for in someone you suspect is addicted to painkillers are related to the side effects these drugs produce. Some of the most common painkiller side effects include:
- Dilated pupils
- Coordination problems or clumsiness
- Sleep issues
Psychological Signs of Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller addictions often impact brain functioning in a variety of ways. For instance, people who abuse painkillers often struggle with focus and concentration. Even simple tasks could pose troublesome or else take longer than you would expect. Addiction to painkillers can cause confusion, hallucinations, and delusions.
On top of those complications, addiction to painkillers often results in mood problems. Look out for depression, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. Take special note if those psychological and emotional tendencies were previously absent in your loved one before they started taking painkillers. That could strongly indicate an addiction has set in.
Connecting Your Loved One to Recovery
Painkiller abuse and addiction can cause a host of long-term health issues and complications. Liver damage, kidney damage, and seizures are all possible outcomes of long-term painkiller abuse. In addition, long-term use often builds up a tolerance, meaning that people are driven to use more and more of a drug to produce the same effect. Alternatively, they may try to get their hands on more potent drugs that pose even more danger.
Knowing how to tell if someone is addicted to painkillers is important, but it is merely the first step. The next step is to connect them to dedicated addiction treatment services. That could start by getting them to open up to their general practitioner so they can connect them to services. Another option is to go straight to a treatment provider like The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®.
Overcoming Addiction at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® specializes in women’s addiction treatment. You can expect expert services provided by highly-trained clinicians. Learn more about how we can support your loved one in overcoming their painkiller addiction by reaching out to 855.773.0614.