If you think that the only drugs that can harm your family are the scary illegal ones that you see sold on street corners in movies and TV shows, you’d be wrong. The fastest growing category of abused drug in the US is actually prescription drugs. These drugs are completely legal as long as you get a doctor’s prescription, but they can be just as powerful (or even more powerful) than a hit of heroin.
Because so many Americans are being prescribed these drugs today, it is vital that every member of our society recognize the symptoms of a prescription drug abuse problem. This is the only way that we can keep our family members, friends and even strangers safe from abusing these drugs.
1. Strange behavior with written prescriptions
Because of their current popularity, prescription drugs are some of the most expensive drugs to buy on the street. Also, most Americans that are hooked on these drugs don’t actually buy them from illegal dealers. Most pill addicts actually get them from their doctors or steal them from family members that have valid prescriptions.
In order to get more pills, many addicts will try to “game” the system. One way of doing this is telling your doctor that you “lost” the prescription and need him to write another one. By doing so, you can then try to go to two different pharmacies and get twice the number of pills. If you think that your loved one is acting strange with his written prescriptions, dig deeper to find out what is going on.
2. Physical symptoms
Then again, there are also prescription drug addicts that do not have a doctor’s prescription to be using these powerful drugs, and thus there is absolutely no reason to have possession of them. If you find that your brother has painkillers in his home when no doctor has told him to take them, that is serious cause for alarm.
Every addict tries to hide his stash, though, so you won’t necessarily be able to spot pills just sitting around. Instead you might have to go off of physical symptoms. Depending on the drug that your family member is using, he will display different symptoms. The abuse of opioid painkillers could mean anything from confusion and sweating to losing hand or eye coordination and having a lowered breathing rate. Abusing stimulants could mean looking agitated, getting irritated easily and suddenly engaging in dangerous, impulsive behavior. Be on the lookout for these symptoms and track down what they mean.
3. Personality changes
One of the best ways to tell that something is wrong is simply that your friend or family member has had a change of personality. You can’t always put your finger on what exactly is going on, but you’ll often know that something is wrong. Maybe your best friend has suddenly stopped talking to you, or your teenager is secretive and unusually rude to you. These distinct personality changes could be due to something completely unrelated to drug use, but if other signs are present, drugs could be the cause.
It’s important to confront your loved ones about your concerns and find out what is really going on. If you’re wrong and he or she has nothing to do with drugs, you can both laugh it off. If your loved one is using drugs, bringing it up could be the vital first step to handling a serious drug problem. The earlier you help him start to handle it, the earlier he can get back to living a drug-free, happy life.
Narconon International: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-prescription-drug-use.html
Last updated by Freedom Treatment Center at .