A man’s hand holding a glass of water in one and a packet of pills in another, wondering how Adderall abuse is treated.

The Symptoms of Adderall Abuse and How They’re Treated

It’s easy to assume that a prescribed medication is perfectly safe, especially since it comes from a licensed physician and is used to treat diagnosable symptoms. While this belief is valid, the fact of the matter is abuse of prescription pills, like Adderall, has steadily risen over the past 15 years due to non-prescribed drug abuse.

The difficult part about spotting Adderall abuse is that it genuinely can be used to improve inattention issues among children and adults. Unfortunately, individuals who struggle with addiction find themselves far too often abusing Adderall because of their relative accessibility and the misconception that they’re safer than illicit drugs.

What is Adderall Abuse?

Adderall abuse is a pattern of use that ignores the identified medical guidelines associated with the drug and leaves a person at serious risk for health issues and other problems. Abusing the drug can include using large amounts at one time or using it several times over the course of a few days or weeks.

The key element of someone abusing Adderall is typically the fact that they do not have an actual prescription for the medication and are accessing the drug illegally through black market channels. Extended Adderall abuse has been tied to physical health problems and emotional instability. For example, emergency room visits from Adderall abuse skyrocketed 156 percent between 2006 and 2011.1

Symptoms of Adderall Abuse

Being able to spot the telltale signs associated with Adderall abuse is essential to identifying a dangerous situation and help for your loved one when they decide to confront their addiction.

Some of the more obvious indicators of Adderall abuse can include:

  • Excessive Feelings of Paranoia
    Adderall-induced paranoia can take various forms, lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days or weeks – depending on the amount of the drug being used. The most common type of paranoia experienced by those abusing Adderall is a foreboding feeling of guilt that everyone knows what you are doing.

It is not uncommon for someone addicted to Adderall to avoid public appearances. Staying home and isolated for long periods of time can be a common sign of Adderall abuse.

  • Habitual Headaches
    An individual who is abusing Adderall may find themselves complaining of headaches frequently or taking an excessive amount of pain relievers to manage the issue. Headaches associated with Adderall abuse are typically severe and long-lasting and, similar to many other drug addictions, most people will turn to more Adderall in an attempt to find relief from their discomfort.
  • Mental Health Issues
    Adderall abusers often experience mental health issues due to their ongoing use of the drug. Anxiety and depression can develop over time due to the manner in which the drug impacts the normal functionality of the brain.

As a result, many Adderall abusers require dual diagnosis treatment to address their mental health issues and the Adderall addiction they have developed over time.

  • Erratic Behaviors
    Chemical imbalances in the brain and declining cognitive function associated with Adderall abuse can also lead to rapid emotional shifts, uncharacteristic behavior, and unpredictable moods.

A person chronically abusing Adderall may even become irrationally paranoid, aggressive, and violent – behaving in ways they would never have acted before they started using Adderall.

While these are not the only signs associated with Adderall abuse, they signify some of the more common behaviors a person struggling with Adderall addiction typically displays. The key to identify if an actual issue exists is to maintain a channel of communication with your loved one so that if a problem does arise, you are able to talk with them about it before it grows out of hand.

How Adderall Abuse is Treated

In many cases, treating long-standing Adderall abuse may require residential treatment to safely detox an individual off the drug. Treatment is also needed to address the physical issues and mental health complications stemming from their addiction.

In a safe and secure environment, your loved one would engage in a range of treatment methods. These can include individual therapy, group therapy, mindfulness training and other holistic therapeutic techniques focused on repairing the damage done by Adderall use.

It is important to speak with a qualified treatment provider prior to making any treatment decisions, so your loved one can start their recovery journey in the most appropriate therapeutic environment. Once this is accomplished, they can begin their recovery journey in a secure setting that specializes in overcoming addictive impulses and establishing healthier lifestyle patterns.

Holistic Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

There is no simple solution to overcoming a prescription drug addiction, so beginning the process of rehabilitation is an essential first step toward identifying the severity of your loved one’s Adderall abuse and potentially saving their life.

As a premier provider of non-12-step treatment in California, Ranch Creek Recovery offers an alternative approach to addiction rehab. We go beyond the traditional, widely used 12-step program and focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program to address every patient’s unique needs.

With a more intimate recovery experience, a higher level of care, a serene environment, individual recovery plans and a holistic approach, your loved one will receive everything needed to achieve sobriety and prepare for a thriving, sober life.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us.

Hands of a person addicted to prescription drugs.

How Do I Know if I’m Addicted to My Prescription Medication?

Millions of people experience injuries or medical issues every day that leave them dealing with physical pain and anguish. It is not uncommon to visit a doctor’s office or emergency room to properly deal with these injuries to allow the body to recover from whatever damage it has experienced.

However, far too often people are given extremely potent and addictive medications without being informed on the dangers of long-term use.

This is not to say that all medications are hazardous and should be avoided. But, the fact of the matter is that certain prescription medications have significant addictive properties and can lead to physical dependence and severe addiction if not managed and monitored appropriately.

Am I Addicted to Prescription Medications?

This can be a difficult question to answer, even if you’re the one living with prescription medication addiction. Being able to identify addictive patterns is imperative to facing your dangerous behaviors and finding the help you need to overcome addiction’s grip on your life.

Some of the more obvious signs associated with a prescription pill addiction can include:

  • Stealing from friends and family to buy more drugs
  • Forging signatures on prescriptions to maintain your addiction
  • Exhibiting poor and impulsive judgment and decision making
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Drastic changes in sleeping patterns

Signs of Prescription Medication Addiction

Do you exhibit the actions and behaviors of someone who is living with a diagnosable prescription pill addiction? Understanding and identifying your own actions is an essential component to overcoming the dangers of the disease.

Those who have lived with this substance use disorder have identified some of the more common signs associated with an addiction to prescription medications. These may consist of:

  • Suddenly Distancing Yourself from Friends and Family
    More often than not, drugs can make a person care only about themselves and the addiction they are trying to feed. It is not uncommon for loved ones to be suddenly and completely neglected for no other reason than the constant need to get high and not want to have others see your addiction raging.
  • Becoming Defensive Towards Anyone Questioning Your Pill Use
    When others touch on the topic, you may immediately defend yourself by justifying your use, pointing to the fact that it is a doctor’s prescription for a legal medication. The problem is that, deep down, you know the rationalizations you are making are false and only covering for your destructive behaviors.
  • The Inability to Complete Normal Daily Tasks
    As your addiction grows, your drug use can easily become the primary focus of your daily life. You go from being reliable to late for everything and missing deadlines for no viable reason. You may begin underperforming, and the quality of your work may decline significantly. It is not uncommon to begin neglecting household responsibilities like cleaning or grocery shopping – which leads to other personal issues. If this behavior goes on too long, you may lose your job, go into debt and even find yourself without a home to live.
  • Displaying Poor Hygiene More Often
    Not showering for days at a time, wearing dirty clothing and having poor oral care are typical signs of prescription medication addiction. The reason for this is that proper hygiene just isn’t at the top of your priority list when scoring more medication is your only focus. Additionally, when you remain high all day, you may not have the capacity to properly take care of yourself.
  • Being Secretive and Lying to Those in Your Life
    Oftentimes, the individual struggling with addiction is the only one who thinks their addiction is a secret. In reality, those close to them often notice they are behaving erratically, using prescription drugs, neglecting personal responsibilities and even affiliating with other people struggling with substance abuse.

Drugs that Can Lead to Prescription Medication Addiction

To understand if you are struggling with a prescription medication addiction, it is important to know which drugs pose a significant risk.

These can include:

  • Opioids – Opioids are commonly prescribed to treat and reduce pain. The active chemicals in these painkillers bond with receptors in the brain and throughout the body, causing changes in how the brain perceives pain. They are effective medications when taken as directed, but they are also so powerful they can easily cause physical and mental dependence.
  • Depressants – Central nervous system (CNS) depressants are a group of medications that slow down the brain’s activity. Health care professionals prescribe them to treat panic, anxiety and sleep disorders and help people deal with acute stress reactions. CNS depressants include drugs that fall into the tranquilizer, sedative and hypnotic categories.
  • Stimulants – Stimulants are a broad group of drugs, including any that raise activity in the nervous system. They amplify alertness and can give users a rush of energy, leading to their nickname, “uppers.” Health professionals usually prescribe stimulants to treat narcolepsy or ADHD.

Regardless of where you are in your addiction, there is no time like the present to ask for help. The sooner you face your substance use disorder, the sooner you can achieve recovery and return to a fulfilling life without prescription medication use.

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

If you’re struggling with opioids and pain medication, now is the time to find real, life-changing support that will help you achieve sobriety and learn how to holistically manage pain or other life circumstances. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs.

Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter your new, sober life.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

A woman practicing yoga outside with a sunset in the background.

How to Help Your Loved One Relieve Pain Naturally

Overcoming an addiction may be the hardest challenge your loved one will ever face in their life. The physical toll and emotional damage that a substance use disorder can inflict on their mind and body can leave them struggling to simply exist.

Once your loved one achieves sobriety and begins piecing their life back together, the last thing they need to face is a physical injury that requires them to take pain medication in order to heal the damage and get back to normal.

Luckily for your loved one, there are a number of natural methods and alternatives to managing their pain other than popping a pill and risking a relapse.

You can help them understand their options and work with them to construct a plan that avoids the use of pain medication. Your support on multiple levels can empower them to heal, maintain their sobriety and continue to forge their recovery journey with no setbacks.

Why Pain Relievers are so Effective

Prescription painkillers flood with dopamine and other feel-good chemicals that take away the pain. Pain medications trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, muffling your loved one’s perception of pain and creating a temporary but powerful sense of well-being.

However, with repeated use, your loved one’s brain adapts to this chemical imbalance and tries to return to its normal state while becoming less sensitive to the effects of the pain medication. This causes your loved one to build up a tolerance to the drug and forces them to ingest larger amounts to achieve the desired effect.

Natural Pain Relievers Can Prove to be Effective, Too

For a recovering addict dealing with a physical injury, incorporating a natural pain reliever to address their physical discomfort can be the only option available to avoid a relapse and maintain their sobriety.

Fortunately, natural pain relievers take treatment techniques and homeopathic approaches that have been used for centuries and incorporate them into modern medical interventions. This allows your loved one to address their physical discomfort in a manner that is both effective and safe, providing them relief from pain and a sustainable way of maintaining their sobriety.

Mind-body techniques can be effective for treating chronic pain. Through these methods, your loved one may learn that some of their pain still exists, but they can cope – whether through meditation, deep breathing, or another practice – without taking pain medications.1

How to Relieve Pain Without Medication

Understandably, your loved one may want to reach for prescription pain medications to deal with physical pain, but we can’t reiterate enough: homeopathic treatments and natural pain relievers can be just as effective.

Understanding the available options is essential to establishing a plan and providing your loved one with viable alternatives to prescription painkillers. Some of the more established natural pain relievers include:

  • Integrative Medicine Techniques – These techniques – which include yoga, tai chi and acupuncture – tap into the mind-body connection. Integrative techniques combine the power of breath, movement and mindfulness to relieve pain by calming unhealthy activity in the mind. (2)
  • Regular Exercise – Exercise may be the last thing on your loved one’s mind when they’re in pain, but gentle activity can actually help your loved one recover. Exercise in the form of walking, biking or swimming loosens stiff muscles and improves blood flow, both of which speed your body’s natural healing process. (1)
  • Therapy for Your Mind – Anxiety, stress and depression can aggravate chronic pain, so it’s important for your loved one to not ignore the emotional side of their pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy can effectively lessen chronic pain because it teaches your loved one how to manage thoughts and feelings and their body’s physical response to discomfort. Biofeedback is another method that can teach your loved one how to control their body’s reactions to pain, while hypnosis allows deep relaxation to help with pain management.

The treatment option(s) that are best for your loved one depend on several factors, including the type of pain they’re experiencing and what caused it.

It’s often possible to get relief without medication and avoid unpleasant side effects; it just requires a bit of patience and persistence to find which alternative treatment option best fits your loved one’s needs.

After Knowing How to Relieve Pain Naturally, Will Your Loved One Go for It?

As in all circumstances, there are no guarantees in life. Gently approaching your loved one with proven treatment techniques that are natural and free of prescription painkillers is a great place to start; but there is no assurance they will appreciate your efforts or follow through with the options you’ve provided them.

That does not mean you should avoid helping them; it only offers perspective if they refuse your assistance. Research has shown that extended use of prescription pain medication can prove physically detrimental and can easily trigger a relapse in a recovering addict. (3)

Working with your loved one to find a holistic treatment facility that specializes in natural pain remedies and recovery support is an excellent way to not only encourage their continued sobriety, but to also ensure they avoid unnecessary setbacks along their recovery journey.

Holistic Addiction Rehab and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Wherever your loved one is on their addiction or recovery journey – if they’re contending with a severe addiction, working to become sober, trying to overcome a relapse or currently sober – we’re here for them and your entire family.

With customized treatment plans that fit your loved one’s unique recovery needs and offering a holistic alternative to the traditional 12-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services can help your loved one stop abusing pain medications and forge a fulfilling, clean future.

From the moment they start therapy, we can help them every step of the way. Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery’s all-encompassing addiction treatment programs and rehab approach or contact us today to get your questions answered.



1) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/guidelines_factsheet-a.pdf.

2) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Relaxation Techniques for Health. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm.

3) Science Direct. The impact of stress on addiction. Accessed February 18, 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X03001779.

Oxycodone and Anxiety

Can Oxycodone Lead to Anxiety Disorder?

For many people living with opioid addiction, dealing with feelings of excessive depression and anxiety can be a daily struggle. The problem with co-occurring disorders – like an opioid addiction occurring alongside an anxiety disorder – is trying to figure which disease originated first and which disorder is impacting you more severely.

In all honesty, all that matters is the fact that they both exist and you need qualified clinical guidance in order to address the symptoms appropriately and successfully overcome both diseases.

How Oxycodone Works

In the case of many opioid use disorders, understanding where your substance compulsion originated can be instrumental to addressing your addictive impulses and creating an individualized treatment plan to address your addiction in a safe manner.

For example, dealing with an oxycodone addiction can start innocently enough. Perhaps you received a prescription for a recommended pain medication following a medical procedure or borrowed a few pills from a friend for pain relief. Seems safe, right?

The problem with a drug like oxycodone is the manner in which it impacts your brain. It floods your body with dopamine and drives you to chase that feeling again and again. After a while, casual use of oxycodone can easily evolve into daily abuse, pushing you further and further down the road of addiction and forcing you to seek out more of the substance.

These kinds of slippery slopes have become the hallmark of the opioid epidemic raging across this country, leaving paths of destruction all around them.

Taking the time to better understand your opioid addiction and how it interacts with your anxiety disorder can work to reverse this addictive trend while also increasing your ability to effectively deal with both diseases.

Anxiety Disorders: What’s Important to Know

Most people deal with some form of anxiety at some point throughout their life, but an actual anxiety disorder is an entirely different experience.

A diagnosable anxiety disorder is an illness that can cause you to feel overly distressed, frightened and excessively uneasy for no actual reason.

This worry does not go anywhere and can end up plaguing your mind for extended amounts of time. It can impact your job and daily responsibilities, forcing you to avoid interactions with other people and driving you into a state of perpetual solitude.

A few of the more typical symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder include:

  • Feeling restless and on edge
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive irritability
  • Experiencing sleep problems

Oxycodone and Anxiety

A number of recent studies have identified a viable connection between non-prescription use of opioids, including oxycodone, and the development of diagnosable anxiety disorders.

It is thought that habitual use of opioids like oxycodone can negatively impact neurological transmitters by inundating the brain with synthetic chemical compounds and leaving a person reeling physically and emotionally from their addiction.

Adding to this link between opioid addiction and a developed anxiety disorder include a familial history of anxiety disorders, a biological predisposition to addictive behaviors and the stressors associated with the addiction/withdrawal.

For those people struggling with an oxycodone addiction, it should come as no surprise that a narcotic as severe and addictive as oxycodone can be dangerous on multiple levels when ingested for an extended amount of time.

Common symptoms associated with an oxycodone addiction can include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Shallow breathing
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety attacks

Oxycodone and Anxiety asCo-Occurring Disorders

These symptoms only name a few of the physically dangerous and debilitating symptoms associated with opioid abuse and addiction.

The fact of the matter is that oxycodone fundamentally changes the way your brain functions. These synthetic chemicals destroy the natural functionality of your mind and body, leaving you emotionally unstable and susceptible to a wide variety of mental and physical health concerns.1

Regardless of which disease came first, dealing with both ailments simultaneously is essential to gaining ground on either of them. That is why it is so important to find a treatment facility capable of addressing both disorders effectively through a clinically comprehensive individualized treatment plan focused on your specific needs and desired goals.

Being able to identify that a problem actually exists is typically the first step in addressing any addiction, and asking for help is the quickest way to get started on your recovery journey in a safe and collaborative way.

Life-Changing Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Regardless of where your addiction has landed you, you can stop using and get your entire life
back on track. At Ranch Creek Recovery, your precise recovery needs are our main priority; your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission.

At our holistic recovery center, our opioid treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire. Additionally, our dual diagnosis program treats you, the entire person, and not just the addiction or just the mental health issue.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including our opioid addiction treatment program and dual diagnosis treatment.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.


1 Cambridge University Press. Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/mood-and-anxiety-disorders-and-their-association-with-nonmedical-prescription-opioid-use-and-prescription-opioiduse-disorder-longitudinal-evidence-from-the-national-epidemiologic-study-on-alcohol-and-related-conditions/2B40E54FF1FD3698742D565399B64F20.

A man discusses solutions to the opioid abuse in California in a meeting.

Ways California is Combating the Opioid Epidemic

What is an epidemic? The terminology alone can conjure up thoughts of social devastation and mass hysteria, such as uncontrollable diseases plaguing society or extinction level occurrences wiping out whole sections of the planet.

The reality of an epidemic, however, can prove to be deceivingly sinister and far harder to gauge and monitor. It can slowly attack humanity, starting as a minor problematic scenario but steadily growing in size and severity until it becomes a massive problem with no immediate remedy.

In the case of the opioid epidemic, the impact that prescription pill and heroin addiction has had on the United States has left every region of the country scrambling to address the ever-expanding issue of opioid addiction.

From preemptive education programs to increasing the distribution of Narcan among first responders, efforts to curb opioid addiction and corresponding overdoses continues to garner state-wide attention.

California Opioid Epidemic

Keep reading to learn about the methods being implemented in California to combat the opioid epidemic and reduce the devastating social trends attributed to opioid addiction.

California’s Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative (PDOP)

The state of California has championed a collaborative effort between all local municipalities to identify problematic patterns within the health care system and address the opioid epidemic through cooperation and teamwork.

The overarching strategy consists of five separate components focused on addressing the various stages of opioid addiction through improved methods of education, increased social awareness, and increased treatment opportunities for both addicts and their prescribing physicians.

The five main components of the California based initiate consist of:

  1. Safe prescribing
  2. Access to Treatment
  3. Naloxone Distribution
  4. Public Education Campaign
  5. Data Informed/Driven Interventions

These five specific sections were identified during a statewide opioid workgroup consisting of the California Department of Public Health Director and various state partners. They were tasked with sharing information and developing collaborative prevention strategies to reduce prescription drug overdose deaths and addictions within the state.

Additionally, the workgroup provided a platform for state entities working to address opioid overdose and addiction to improve coordination and expand joint efforts.

This PDOP has actively promoted the Medical Board of California Prescriber Guidelines in order to establish universal prescribing procedures within the state between all licensed physicians. They have also developed a statewide media education campaign to guide all treatment providers and participating patients throughout the therapeutic process.

Working Collaboratively with Local Schools to Increase Education

The state of California has worked to establish comprehensive educational programs to implement within their school districts in order to create an open and effective dialogue with students regarding the dangers of opioid use and addiction.

They’ve empowered school leaders and teachers to create safe environments within their classrooms for discussing the opioid epidemic, while simultaneously establishing a positive culture to better facilitate student’s participation and engagement.

These educational programs have not only focused on providing the staff and students with increased information regarding the dangers of opioid addiction, but they’ve also provided education regarding opioid overdoses and how to implement treatment if faced with an emergency scenario. This
approach has empowered school staff to proactively address the opioid epidemic, as well as, encourage and support students involved with the recovery process.

Opioid Abuse in California is Still Alive, but the Fight Against it is Stronger Than Ever

These proactive and innovative measures have created a situation in which the State of California is not merely surviving the opioid epidemic, but they are actively working to combat the spreading disease of opioid addiction.

While their efforts are commendable, the involved program managers and participating clinical staff are acutely aware that the battle to defeat the opioid epidemic is very much alive.

Working collaboratively within the state has afforded treatment providers the means and resources to begin stemming the tide of opioid addiction, creating hope within the surrounding communities, and establishing a new sense of faith among individuals struggling with substance use disorders.

Life-Changing, Holistic Opioid Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

For any addict who wants to regain control over their entire life, you must believe that your life can
begin again. It is our firm belief at Ranch Creek Recovery that addicts can recover from their disease and can rebuild abstinent, productive lives.

If you are addicted to opioids or have a loved one who is in the grips of an opioid addiction, there is help.

We address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including opiate detox and rehab programs.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


California Department of Public Health. Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative. Accessed August 21, 2018. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DCDIC/SACB/Pages/PrescriptionDrugOverdoseProgram.aspx.

U.S. Department of Education. Combating the Opioid Crisis: Schools, Students, Families. Accessed August 21, 2018. https://www.ed.gov/opioids.

A man sitting alone wondering if he’s addicted to painkillers.

5 Signs You’re Addicted to Painkillers

Maybe you experienced an injury or medical complication that required or a prescription for painkillers. Or perhaps you just wanted to do some innocent experimenting to see how the pills would make you feel.

Regardless of how your prescription drug use started, you may realize your use or dependency leans towards addiction and is affecting your daily life.

Rest assured, you’ve landed in the right place. Before you review the signs of prescription drug addiction, let’s begin with understanding the difference between addiction and dependency.

The Difference Between Addiction and Dependency

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, being dependent on a drug usually means you are physically reliant on a substance. This physical dependency means your body has established a tolerance to a pain medication, and your body now requires a higher dose to feel pain relief. This dependence is usually a precursor to painkiller addiction.

Addiction, on the other hand, adds an emotional and mental element to the dependence. When you’re addicted to a drug, your use is typically prompted by some sort of trigger – either a person or situation – leading to excessive use and harmful behavior. With addiction, drug use continues despite the impact it has on family, friends, school, work and health.

Keep reading to learn five signs of prescription drug addiction:

Signs of Painkiller Addiction

1. Your Medication is Constantly on Your Mind

Your day-to-day is jam-packed with work, tasks to get done, meetings, family obligations and much more. At any point during the day, your mind could be thinking about the countless things going on in your life. Instead, your mind is fixated on your prescription drugs.

Being distracted during present moments because your mind is hyper-focused on when it’s time to take your next dose, or – if your prescription is low – when or where you’ll get a refill, is one of the symptoms of painkiller addiction.

2. You Take More Than You Were Prescribed

When you were first prescribed painkillers, you took them as directed. As you became more in tune with your body’s ebbs and flows during medication use, you began to favor the euphoric feeling and started taking more than you should.

Taking more than the doctor ordered and for reasons other than to alleviate physical pain or discomfort from a surgery, injury or a medical problem is a sign of painkiller addiction. Additionally, if you are trying to control when you take your pain medication, instead of following the doctor’s orders, you may be addicted to painkillers.

[If you are taking more than prescribed because the pain will not subside, you should consult with your doctor immediately.]

3. You’ve Been Taking Painkillers for an Extended Period of Time

Consuming painkillers after the discomfort is gone is a sign of painkiller addiction. If you’ve been taking painkillers for a long time post-pain to experience a high or because of physical hang-ups, such as irritability, depression, poor sleep patterns and much more, it’s time to seek help for addiction.

4. You Find Painkillers from Other Suppliers

When your prescription runs low or you are out of refills and you feel you need more to ease your discomfort, you strategize ways to replenish your supply, such as:

  • Stealing pain medications from a family member, friend, coworker or stranger
  • Buying pain medication from other people who have a prescription and don’t use it
  • Illegally writing scripts for a new prescription
  • Buying drugs on the internet or street
  • “Doctor hopping,” or seeing multiple physicians to increase the number of prescriptions

Any of these behaviors, along with others not listed here, are serious signs of painkiller addiction.

5. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself

Take time to reflect on how you felt and acted before you started taking painkillers. Now, compare that side of you with how you feel and act when you take painkillers. Do you feel and act different? In what ways?

When your attitude, habits and behaviors become more reckless and start affecting your health, loved ones, duties and career, addiction has more than likely entered your life.

Painkiller Addiction Rehab at Ranch Creek Recovery

Painkiller addiction can hit you before you even realize what’s happening. Fortunately, there’s a way to treat the addiction and get you on the road to recovery. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we offer prescription drug rehabilitation tailored to your specific needs and challenges. Learn more about our holistic painkiller and opioid rehab treatment, or contact us today to see how we can help you “walk the path” of recovery from prescription drug abuse.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Talk to loved ones about addiction to painkillers

How to Talk About Painkiller Addiction with a Loved One

Painkiller addiction is never a one-size-fits-all situation, and it rarely ever starts intentionally. After all, the majority of initial painkiller exposures start with legitimate prescriptions from doctors. That’s why most people are unassuming at first to the signs of addiction. But when a loved one’s habits, actions, and demeanor change and become unexplainable, it’s time to start a dialogue about what’s really going on.

If you feel someone you love may be addicted to painkillers, take the first step toward recovery and start talking about addiction to painkillers. Use these five tips to have a productive conversation and help your loved one realize they can turn their life around.

1. Organize your thoughts and remove judgement.

The outcome of the conversation you want to have with your loved one will depend on your preparation and approach. Before you ask your loved one to sit down and talk, step into the right frame of mind by:

  • Educating yourself. Learn as much as you can about how and why painkiller addiction starts.
  • Hearing from other addicts. Read stories about and testimonials from real people who are or were painkiller addicts to glean a different perspective and understanding of the disease.
  • Connecting with recovery experts. Contact an addiction center and disclose what you’re hoping to accomplish with your loved one. See if they have advice or tips to help you achieve a favorable outcome to your conversation.
  • Formulating a plan. You know your loved one extremely well. What excuses, rational, or arguments will they bring up or counter with? Plan some responses so you’re prepared for any twist or turn to the conversation.
  • Releasing judgement and anger. For your conversation to end on a high note, you want your loved one to feel supported and understood, not threatened and ostracized. When you’re on the outside of addiction, hurt, anger, and resentment can creep in. Throughout your research and preparation, allow yourself to let go of judgement and negative feelings so you can focus on healing and helping your loved one.

2. Find a time when communication will be well-received.

When you have your conversation is just as important as preparing for your conversation. Good communication needs its own time, and it’s best to avoid moments when you or your loved one are stressed or tired, or your loved one is under the influence. It’s also beneficial to find a time that does not require a hard stop, so the discussion can last as long as needed.

3. Choose a safe, distraction-free place to talk.

When you feel ready and your loved one is sober, ask your loved one if you can speak with them in a comfortable and distraction-free room in your home. The initial atmosphere will set the stage for the rest of the conversation, and being in a familiar, quiet space should help your loved one feel safe.

Most of the time, a one-on-one conversation is more advantageous than an intervention, as discussing something as serious and sensitive as addition can be very overwhelming and intimidating in front of a lot of people.

4. Begin slow. Express your support. Above all, listen.

Begin the dialogue with composure, confidence, and empathy. Talk slow and express your love and concern right away. When you come from a place of compassion, your loved one may receive the conversation more positively.

Let your loved one know that you’ve noticed some inconsistent behavior and ask them if they’re open to hearing your thoughts. As you navigate the conversation, try to steer clear of language that blames and raising your voice in anger. If you think it will help, highlight specific times your loved one’s behavior, when under the influence, negatively affected you and your family.

Once you’ve opened the dialogue, let your loved one talk without interruption or judgement. Giving your loved one the floor and actively listening will help your loved one feel heard, understood, and supported. You’ll also get their first-hand account of their addiction journey. Catching all the details is critical, as this information will help you understand and support them from here on out.

5. Suggest a next step.

If the conversation is going well, ask your loved one if they would be willing to receive professional help. The conversation can take a turn here, and that’s OK. Your loved one may need time alone to digest the conversation and the possibility of seeking recovery help. If your loved one gets defensive upon your suggestion, respectfully let it go for now. If you feel immediate action needs to be made, confide in close family and friends and discuss if an intervention is necessary.

Addiction can hit hard and quick. It can also be a gradual process. Whichever path your loved one is experiencing, one thing is certain: the time to talk, to act, to seek the best recovery support is now.

If you suspect your loved one may be abusing painkillers, Ranch Creek Recovery can help. Learn more about our prescription drug treatment or contact us today to see how we can help your loved one take back control of their life and recover from painkiller addiction.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Woman struggling to manage her use of prescription drugs.

Hook, Line and Sinker: The Painkiller Addiction

Why It’s So Easy to Get Hooked on Prescription Drugs

It’s the curveball you never saw coming. You made an appointment for chronic back pain and your doctor prescribed you painkillers to relieve the symptoms. You begin taking the pills twice a day as prescribed, but your back still doesn’t feel right. So, you just up the daily dose for the pain. No harm in that, right? Before you know it, a painkiller addiction is in full effect and the majority of your time is spent thinking about new ways to get your hands on more pills.

How did this happen? All you wanted was to relieve your back pain, not develop an addiction to prescription drugs that kills more than 115 Americans every day. Unfortunately, prescription drugs like opioids are easy to abuse because they are so widely prescribed and largely considered safe.

Let’s take a closer look at why it’s so easy to get hooked on painkillers.

Prescription Drugs Change the Dynamic of Your Brain

Painkillers have an extremely powerful effect on the brain, which is why they require a prescription in the first place. When you take an opioid pain reliever, the drug essentially pulls on the brain’s “happy” lever to make you feel good. As you take more and more doses, the drug changes the way your brain functions, causing a tolerance where the drug is needed at all times. This dependence becomes so strong that your brain doesn’t know how to feel good without it, resulting in an addiction.

We Were Made to Believe Painkillers are Safe

At the tail-end of the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured doctors that prescription drugs weren’t addictive. Naturally, doctors took this information as a green light to prescribe more opioid pain relievers to patients throughout the 2000s, paving the way for the opioid crisis we’re seeing today. In 2015, nearly two million Americans suffered from a painkiller addiction, and today, 21-29% of people prescribed opioids end up misusing them.

Opioid Pain Relievers Offer Instant Gratification

Many of the problems people are prescribed painkillers for can be relieved through other methods like physical therapy, diet changes or exercise. However, these solutions require more effort and take longer to see and feel an improvement. On the other hand, painkillers work quickly and effectively, providing instant relief from physical pain or anxiety. These drugs work so well that many people start turning to them for even the slightest hint of pain to avoid further discomfort.

Prescription Drugs Serve as a Substitute for Therapists

Prescription drugs are known for providing a sense of euphoria, helping you feel comfortable and relaxed. This is certainly addictive all on its own, but painkillers also offer an unexpected benefit – relief from emotional pain. Feelings and emotions are often difficult things to deal with, and many people feel too ashamed to seek a therapist or don’t believe talking to a counselor will help. Prescription drugs replace this need, immediately blocking the emotional pain you might not want to deal with.

Prescription drugs are extremely easy to get hooked on. Luckily, early detection and support can help get the addiction under control. If you think you have a painkiller addiction or are developing an addiction to prescription drugs, Ranch Creek Recovery offers prescription drug treatment to help you overcome your addiction.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607



Inside America’s Alarming Prescription Drug Addiction

Are you taking more pain medications than prescribed? If so, you could be one of the millions of Americans dealing with a prescription drug addiction. Most people think of street drugs when they think of drug abuse, but addiction to prescription medication has skyrocketed in the U.S. in recent years. Prescription drug abuse is running especially rampant in demographics not usually associated with addiction—educated, working adults aged 35 to 64.

This video discusses some of the causes of the America’s prescription drug addiction epidemic. Doctors prescribe more pain medications than ever before. Another problem is a societal trend to rely on medications for quick fixes to major problems.


Don’t let addiction take over your life or the life of someone you love. Help is available at San Diego’s Ranch Creek Recovery. Call our addiction treatment center at (951) 795-4326 for more information.