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Prescription Drug Addiction Symptoms and Signs

Prescription drug abuse is among the major social and health concerns in the United States today. People from all walks of life can become addicted to prescription drugs. Addiction to prescription drugs results in the uncontrollable seeking, misuse, and often overuse of these drugs in spite of their obvious dangerous consequences. However, addiction is at times hard to identify because users suffering from chronic pain require regular pain medication, and physical dependence is possible even if drugs are taken as intended. In addition, people who are drug dependent or addicted need to use drugs on a regular basis to prevent withdrawal symptoms (e.g., vomiting, nausea, sweating, anxiety, and insomnia) from arising and to feel a sense of well-being.

How Prescription Drug Addiction Develops

Drug Addiction Symptoms and Signs

drug addiction Addiction to drugs, whether legal or illegal, causes various behavioral, social and health changes as the addict needs to obtain larger and larger quantities of the drugs or drugs to which he or she is addicted in order to satisfy increasing physical and psychological drug dependence.

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Prescription drug misuse occurs when people are using a medication for purposes other than the original intended use, for instance, using a pain-relief medication to relieve insomnia or get rid of nervousness instead of treating pain. Many drugs, including nonaddictive drugs (such as beta blockers and corticosteroids), can cause physical dependence, which becomes evident when the medication is discontinued all at once. Addiction is considered a brain illness and a form of serious physical dependence, manifested by an uncontrollable wanting and yearning, which ultimately affects relationships and even impacts responsibilities at home, work, and school.

The reasons why people get addicted or dependent on prescription drugs, where they start to use them in a manner that is not prescribed and dangerous, are not very clear. Some evidence suggests that genetic factors play a part. Addiction is also attributed to nervousness, depression, alcoholism, and loneliness. Personality traits and peer pressure are also considered as factors.

The most widely abused prescription drugs are stimulants, central nervous system depressants, and opioids. While stimulants (such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate) are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, central nervous system depressants, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, are used to treat sleeping problems and nervousness. On the other hand, opioids are used to relieve pain.

Opioids include codeine, meperidine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, propoxyphene, diphenoxylate, and morphine. Central nervous system depressants consist of barbiturates (such as, pentobarbital sodium) and benzodiazepines (such as, diazepam and alprazolam). Stimulants include methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and amphetamines.

Central nervous system depressants or opioids, when used for a long time, can cause physical dependence and addiction. Opioids can cause dizziness, constipation, and breathing difficulties, depending on the amount taken. Central nervous system depressants can retard brain functioning and can slow down respiration and heart rate when taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs causing dizziness. Stimulants can produce nervousness, paranoia, increased body temperature, uneven heartbeat, and seizures if taken in high dosage or repetitively.

Signs and symptoms associated with prescription drug addiction:

  • Use of medication in progressive amounts
  • Going from one physician to another to seek more prescriptions
  • Uncontrollable craving for the medication
  • Incapacity to break or control drug usage
  • Appearance of withdrawal symptoms when medication is lessened or stopped (such as nervousness, nausea, sweating, vomiting, dilated pupils, and skin goose bumps)
  • Exerting much effort to obtain the medication
  • Using medication to the impairment of important activities
  • Obsessive medication use despite negative side effects

Normally, when performing a physical checkup, a physician will inquire about the symptoms and medical history of a patient. He or she will also ask about the patient’s use of prescription medications, including the duration and frequency of use.

It is sometimes difficult to find a solution for someone dealing with drug addiction. If you are concerned about his or her drug use, whether prescribed or illegal, the best thing you can do is urge him or her to talk to a trustworthy person, counselor, or medical professional.

Many drug abusers consider the potential of losing a job as the biggest reason to quit their vice. This is often even more consequential to them than the threat of losing a spouse or ending a relationship with a friend. When their job is on the line, quite a few drug users will strive to find help for their dilemma, although they have previously disregarded the supplications of their loved ones.

Hope for Drug Addicts – Call for Help

There is hope for drug addicts indeed, and the prospect for recovery is quite high. If you know someone struggling from drug addiction, encourage him or her to seek out drug treatment help. Treatment programs available include self-help and formal recovery. Several licensing boards, worker assistance programs, and peer support agencies offer help to find the right counseling and treatment services. Another good option is an inpatient or outpatient service, which is just a call away. Call them at 1-888-803-9961 or fill out their short contact form to obtain the support you need.