Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise over the last 30 years. Overdose deaths have more than tripled, and more than 21 million people admit to having an addiction of some form, with just 10 percent seeking treatment.
Those are startling statistics, particularly if you have a friend or family member you think may be abusing prescription drugs. In the following article, we’ll be discussing the most common warning signs.
Prescriptions Commonly Abused
First, however, it’s important to understand the most commonly abused prescriptions out there. They are:
- Opioids, like OxyContin
- Stimulants, like Adderall
- Depressants, like Zoloft
All these medications are widely used, and you can browse this website for a look at several more. When any of these drugs are widely abused, you can expect the following characteristics.
Fluctuations in Sleeping Patterns
In many cases, a person abusing prescription drugs will see drastic changes to their sleeping patterns. They may end up sleeping much more than average or experiencing bouts of insomnia.
How their sleep is affected will depend on the condition, the drug, and the level of abuse. The bottom line: if you notice any of these changes, take note.
Once again, we’re dealing with opioids, depressants, and stimulants when it comes to prescription drug abuse. That means you’ll see a range of behaviors depending on the circumstances.
When it comes to energy levels, the extremes are once again important factors. An abuser may be hyper-alert and energetic or he may be slow, slurred, and drowsy. Prescribed drugs taken too often can result in either effect.
Abusing a drug prescription can also start to affect relationships. An ordinarily reserved woman can become overly bubbly and outgoing. A mild-mannered man can get intense or angry without warning.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your loved one just “had a bad day,” especially if you know them to be on prescription medication. Take it instead as a warning sign.
Prescription drug addiction can pretty much affect every system of the body, and the digestive tract is no exception. An individual abusing these drugs most often experiences constipation, which can lead to more serious issues. Diarrhea or unhealthy changes to stool color and consistency are also possible.
Mood swings often get grouped in as “behavioral issues,” but those are chemically-influenced reactions that are more bodily in nature. When we say “behavior,” we mean specific actions the person is taking that are out-of-the-norm and sure to cause them trouble.
Common behavioral issues associated with a drug abuser can be any of the following:
- Lying to get more prescriptions
- Visiting multiple doctors to get additional drugs
- Lying and/or stealing to friends and loved ones
Prescription drug monitoring is greatly important as well. By keeping the proper counts, you can help ensure that abuse is detected and addressed.
Prescription Drug Abuse Is a Silent Killer
We hope this look at the signs of prescription drug abuse will help you understand what your loved ones are going through. We also help it aids you in getting them the proper help. For more health and drug safety tips, check out some of our additional posts.