What Are the Symptoms of Being Addicted To Pain Pills?

You Should Know the Symptoms of Being Addicted To Pain Pills

People who have been prescribed pain pills following surgery or serious injuries may become dependent on the drug without realizing it. Reality sets in when the individual uses more than the prescribed dose and then runs out. If there are no more refills, the addicted user will try doctor shopping or the more dangerous route of searching for pills on the street. Knowing the symptoms of being addicted to pain pills will help you determine if a friend or loved one is in trouble.

Signs of Painkiller Addiction

Addiction to opioid pain killers has become an epidemic. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated, "the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999." People are dying. Many times you are unaware someone has an abuse issue until they get caught purchasing pills illegally or experience an overdose. The following painkiller addiction symptoms will help you recognize the signs of abuse that cannot be explained by any other cause.

  • An addicted person may seem to be tired all the time. He or she may doze off during a conversation, while at dinner, and when watching a movie.
  • A painkiller abuser may sleep for long periods of time when the drug is being taken, and not being able to sleep when the supply runs out.
  • The addict will display signs of the flu (nausea, fever, headache) when unable to get more drugs. These are symptoms of withdrawal and not the flu. They can frequently occur when the user does not have a ready supply.
  • Metabolic changes cause pain pill abusers to lose weight.
  • An abuser will stop caring about their appearance. Addicts may not shower regularly, shave, fix their hair, or dress in clean clothes.
  • The energy level of a person addicted to painkillers drops to a very low level. Individuals stop participating in sports activities, quit running or walking, and often are too lethargic to participate in family activities.
  • The sex drive of a person abusing pain pills suffers from lower testosterone and estrogen levels.
  • Ex-smokers and former drinkers may return to old habits after years of not using the substances.
  • Longtime friendships suffer and sometimes end abruptly.
  • Abusers will often turn to stealing when their habit becomes too expensive. Money may be missing from a wallet, jewelry may disappear, or items may be pawned to get money to pay for pills.
  • Addicts will also max out their credit cards and then be unable to make the payments. Finances suffer greatly.
  • The addict starts missing more and more time from work, which ultimately ends in job loss.
  • Family life suffers and can end in divorce if the abuse continues.
  • Addicts lie to survive. Your own suspicions and intuition may be the best determining factor.

Dangers of Painkiller Addiction

Anyone can become addicted to prescription painkillers. It happens to the people you would least expect to become a drug abuser. If someone you love is taking medication for pain, learn the symptoms of being addicted to pain pills. The real danger comes when the problem is ignored or not realized. Because painkillers are opioid depressants, respiratory issues can occur. Breathing becomes very shallow and can even cease. Difficult breathing issues occur in an overdose. How many times have you watched a television program or movie and heard a character say, "He's not breathing!" CPR is initiated, and someone tries to save the person. It happens in real life too. When a person overdoses on painkillers, they may stop breathing and die.

When you see the signs of painkiller addiction in someone you love, do something. Contact a treatment center to learn how to get help. Addiction to painkillers is treatable. Get help for your loved one before an overdose occurs.


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