Prescription drugs are often seen as a safe and effective way to manage various medical conditions. However, when misused or abused, prescription drugs can quickly become dangerous and addictive. Substance abuse can destroy lives and relationships, and recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse is critical for early intervention. In this blog post, we will explore the subtle and not-so-subtle signs of prescription drug abuse. Our goal is to provide practical tips for individuals and their loved ones to remain vigilant and intervene as quickly as possible.
1. Physical Changes
One of the most significant signs of prescription drug abuse is physical change. This may involve changes in weight, sleeping patterns, or energy levels. People misusing prescription drugs may appear more sedated, tired, or agitated than usual. They may also lose or gain weight, experience tremors, or have bloodshot eyes. Some people may neglect their physical appearance and stop maintaining basic hygiene. These physical changes can be immediate or gradual but are telling signs of drug abuse.
2. Behavioral Changes
Aside from physical changes, people who abuse prescription drugs often have significant behavioral shifts. They may start to isolate themselves from friends or family and show abnormal mood swings. They may also become more secretive and defensive, especially when asked about their drug use. People who are struggling with addiction to prescription drugs may also experience financial difficulties because they spend more money on drugs than necessities. Those who consume opioids may also exhibit signs such as slurred speech, difficulty in cognitive tasks, and memory loss.
3. Health Issues
Long-term substance abuse can cause a myriad of health problems, both physical and mental. People who misuse prescription drugs may have weakened immune systems and are at higher risk of developing infections and illnesses. They may also experience severe mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Chronic misuse of prescription drugs can lead to severe organ damage, respiratory depression, and seizures. Other issues, such as liver and heart problems, are also commonly seen among substance abusers.
4. Evidence of Drug Use
Usually, prescription drug abusers may leave clues behind that can point to their drug use. This may include finding drug paraphernalia such as syringes, pill bottles, or prescription pads. They may chew their opioids and leave partially dissolved pills behind. The shape, size, color, and other drug characteristics can help in identifying the type of drugs that are being abused. In some cases, individuals may have a stash of prescription drugs in a particular place in their home or car.
5. Changes in Relationships
Prescription drug abuse can cause significant rifts in personal relationships. Someone who is addicted to prescription drugs may have difficulties maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends. They may start to lie, steal, or manipulate others to obtain more drugs. They may also become aggressive, verbal, or physically abusive. These changes in behavior can cause immense harm and break trust, leading to complete isolation.
Begin Living The Good Life
People struggling with substance abuse cannot hide from their addiction forever. Recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse is essential, and early intervention can prevent the development of far more severe problems. The warning signs are sometimes subtle and often go unnoticed, which is why it's essential to remain vigilant. The key is to combine practical advice with empathy and support to help people break free from their addictions.
Our only goal at The Good Life Treatment Center is to help you or your loved one get better. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year. Contact The Good Life Treatment Center today by calling us at (561) 250-8552 or filling out our secure contact form to start your recovery process!