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June 29, 2022

The Hidden Signs & Effects Of Prescription Drug Abuse

In the hands of most patients, prescription medications provide the exact benefits they were intended to provide. That's exactly why pharmaceutical companies create prescription medications.

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June 29, 2022

Unfortunately, certain prescription medications are always subject to abuse in the hands of people with the wrong intentions. To be clear, there are two groups of people who will willingly abuse prescription drugs. First, there are legitimate patients who will simply use their medications in ways that were not intended by their doctors or psychiatrists. The second group is the recreational drug users who constantly look for ways to get high outside of the law.

The Abuse of Prescription Painkillers, Sedatives, and Amphetamines and the Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction

A discussion related to prescription drug abuse should center on any medication that someone might choose to abuse. With that said, it's prescription painkillers, sedatives, and amphetamines that deserve most of the attention as the focus of this discussion. We are referring to opioid painkiller medications like Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Norco, high-grade Codeine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Percocet on the painkiller side, Xanax, Valium, benzodiazepines, and Ambien as sedatives or anti-anxiety medications, and amphetamines like Ritalin, Adderall XR, and Mydayis as stimulants.

What all of these drugs have in common is they provide users with some kind of relief or euphoria. It's the need for relief or that euphoria that motivates prescription drug users to keep upping their dosages until addiction becomes a reality. The warning signs of prescription drug use vary depending on the type of drug, and existing health conditions or mental health disorders of the user. Impairment looks different for each individual, especially young adults and adolescents.

There are many risk factors with prescription drug abuse which is why doctor shopping and proper prescribing are imperative when it comes to the administration of prescription drugs to those who need them. The side effects of drug abuse can be almost impossible for others to detect in the beginning stages. That is especially true if the abusers have a legitimate reason to be using their drug of choice. How would someone go about seeing the hidden signs of prescription drug abuse?

The Hidden Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Very rare is the drug addict who would come forward and admit they are abusing a prescription drug. To do so would expose their behavior and subject them to the loss of their substance of choice and perhaps some form of punishment. For these reasons, it's incumbent on loved ones and friends to see the signs of prescription drug abuse and the impacts it has on both mental health and physical well being.

For this discussion, we have to remember that some of the signs of drug abuse will vary a bit based on the substance the addiction sufferer is abusing. With that said, they are a lot of detectable hidden signs of prescription drug abuse that would be evident to the trained eye. Our objective is to offer some level of training related to detecting these signs.

For this discussion, we want to break these signs up into two categories: physical signs and behavioral signs.

The Physical Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse and Prescription Drug Addiction

Again, the physical signs of prescription abuse might vary based on the drug of choice. However, here are some general signs for which you might want to be looking:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Weight loss
  • Slowed or increased heart rate
  • Slurred speech
  • Below or above average body temperature
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Eating irregularities (too much eating or no appetite)
  • Lack of body control
  • Unkempt physical appearance
  • Onset of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and suicidal ideology

The Behavioral Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

The most common symptoms and behavioral signs of prescription abuse are much more universal. In fact, many of these signed could be evident in most substance abuse addictions. The most common behavioral health signs and behavioral changes of prescription drug abuse include:

  • Withdraw from important relationships with friends and relatives
  • Impaired decision-making skills
  • Mood swings
  • ADHD symptoms or inability to focus
  • Too much seclusion and secrecy
  • Increasing problems at work or school
  • Financial problems created by the constant pursuit of more drugs
  • Drug shopping through multiple pharmacies
  • Criminal behavior (Theft, DUI, violent crimes)
  • Inability to manage personal responsibilities like paying bills or housekeeping
  • Lost of interest in hobbies and things of interest

What to do If Prescription Drug Abuse is Detected and How to Seek Addiction Treatment

There is a fine line between prescription drug abuse and addiction. That fine line is the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms should the drug abuser decide to stop using. When prescription drug abuse becomes apparent, efforts should be made to get the addiction sufferer into a quality rehab like Hollywood Hills Recovery. Treatment options vary depending on the treatment program or center that you are seeking help from.

If you are the focus of your concern, it's you that has to step forward and admit that you have a problem. When you can do that, you are ready to receive the help you need. If you are reading this information because of your concerns over a loved one, you can try talking to them. The goal has to be convincing them a better life awaits if they get treatment. When the time comes for treatment, Hollywood Hills is ready to help.

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