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.