The warning signs of prescription drug abuse are sometimes clear. Frequently, however, they are not. Many of the symptoms of addiction are shared with other common maladies, and a person with an addiction can pass them off as a cold, a headache, or just “not feeling good.” However, there are some symptoms that are serious warning signs indicating that professional addiction treatment is needed.
It’s vital that you know the signs of prescription drug addiction so that intervention can be sought before it’s too late. If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to prescription medications, contact The Bluffs at 850.374.5331.
Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
Commonly abused prescription drugs include various opioids, stimulants, anti-depressants, and anxiolytics (medications that treat anxiety). These include:
The various symptoms of prescription drug abuse present differently for every person. Some people may display many severe symptoms, and others might not have those symptoms at all. Which ones are visible and to what degree they manifest depend on factors such as the:
- Medical history of the patient
- Age of the patient
- Tolerance level of the patient
- Severity of addiction
- Specific prescription medication that is being abused
While there are several common symptoms to know, keep in mind that every case is unique.
What Are Three Warning Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?
In order to answer the question, “What are three warning signs of prescription drug abuse?” consider three categories of signs: behavioral, physical, and habitual.
1. Behavioral Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
When prescription drugs are misused, you might notice that a person:
- Has memory lapses
- Seems confused more often than usual
- Seems depressed or anxious
- Exhibits impulsive behavior
- Seems to be eating much more or less than they used to
- Has slurred speech
In addition, a person might display a change in sleeping habits and may go through frequent mood swings.
2. Physical Signs of Prescription Abuse
When a person is addicted to and misusing prescription drugs, some of the physical indicators you should look for include:
- Reduced hand-eye coordination
- Slowed-down or slurred speech
- High blood pressure
- Complaints that their heart is pounding
- Drastic changes in weight
- Frequent and profuse sweating
- Changes in breathing patterns
- Various neurological symptoms, including dizziness
In addition, a person’s eyes may appear bloodshot, or they may have a “sleepy” look. You may also notice frequent involuntary eye movements in a person who is struggling with prescription drug abuse.
3. Habitual Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
There are certain actions and active behavior patterns that a person might display if they have a substance use disorder. Knowing the warning signs of prescription drug abuse must include knowledge of these habitual actions, some of which are:
- Using higher doses of medications than what is prescribed
- Needing prescription refills too often or too early
- Getting prescriptions illegally, such as through stealing or forging
In addition, one of the most frequent signs of prescription drug abuse is when a person frequently switches doctors. They may see more than one doctor at a time in order to receive multiple prescriptions for the drugs to which they are addicted.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Vertava Health – Ohio
Even though many people are able to take prescription medications without the threat of addiction looming, a large number of prescription medications have a high chance of being misused.
If you or someone you know is prescribed one or more of the prescription medications previously listed, a health care provider should always monitor patient health. For more information or for help with prescription drug abuse, contact The Bluffs by calling 850.374.5331.