Last Updated on June 1, 2018 by Keisha Mclean-Green
What does a dependency on prescription painkillers look like? How does it affect one mentally?
Physically, a dependency will drive the body to a point where it requires the drug to “feel okay.” Mentally, an addiction can cause a drastic change in behavior, affecting a person’s mood, their energy, and their concentration. These shifts in a person’s behavior are strong indications of addiction, but there are other telltale signs to look for. We’ve discussed how to recognize prescription drug abuse, but let’s now look more intimately at spotting prescription painkiller dependency.
1. Increased Usage
Whenever you notice someone increase the number of pills they’re taking for pain relief, it is almost always a clear sign of a dependency. People are typically prone to develop a tolerance to prescription medicines, and in certain cases will take it upon themselves to increase their dosage without their doctor’s supervision or knowledge.
2. Continued Use
If an individual continues to take painkillers after the condition has subsided, they can experience a prolonged need it. Pay special attention to how this person speaks.
- Do they tell you all they need is a little more until the pain goes away?
- Are they constantly complaining about their doctor’s refusal to continue writing them their prescriptions?
If the answer is yes, there a problem could exist. Painkillers are not a solution to dealing with chronic pain; they are meant to be used as a tool to help one through a rough period of extreme physical discomfort.
3. Differences in Appearance or Daily Habits
Prescription painkiller addiction can cause intense changes in behavior. You might notice a person’s sleeping and eating habits changing. They might not maintain a healthy level of personal hygiene.
Other differences in their physical appearance include red, glassy eyes, recurring cough, and a runny nose. Any other indications suggesting that a person is not acting normally should be recognized and addressed.
4. Increased Sensitivity to Stimuli
A person who is suffering from a dependency to painkillers is likely to experience strong reactions to normal stimuli. Anything from a sight, sound, or emotion that would not elicit abnormal responses from most could become very agitating to someone with a prescription painkiller dependency. They are also known to suffer from hallucinations, habitual forgetfulness, and even blackouts.
5. Defensive Behavior
Any time a prescription painkiller abuser is confronted about their dependency, they are likely to act defensively in order to protect their habit. This is not something they wish to let go; therefore they will do whatever they can to hide their problem. Some responses may even be as extreme as lashing out over the simplest of questions or requests.
Learn to familiarize yourself with these habits and behaviors. An addiction and dependency to painkillers is dangerous and will cause tremendous harm to abusers. If you use these tips to help discover someone who is suffering from painkiller dependency, you can not only save them, but also help them find the road to recovery.
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