Prescription Drug Addiction: What You Need to Know

To fully understand what prescription drug addiction entails, the first thing to know is that it usually does not happen without a cause and effect fallout in tow. Secondly, the simple fact is it happens across the board within the United States. In other words, it is not something that only happens to people with bad attitudes or destructive habits. You do not need to know as much as an addiction counselor to understand certain nuances of the subject, but it is good to be able to spot the signs of prescription drug addiction in yourself or others. It is the first step to getting the help needed for recovery.

Another important fact to be aware of, regarding the subject, is that three kinds of prescriptions commonly turn up when a person has a cycle of addiction. They are stimulants, opiates, and sedatives. Stimulants are designed to help people who have trouble focusing or managing hyperactivity. Opiates lessen chronic physical pain. Sedatives help to balance anxiety or sleep disorders. These drugs are prescribed by doctors to their patients to promote healthy brain activity. This happens by raising or dropping certain chemical levels in the brain.

A big part of prescription drug addiction stems from the doctor patient relationship. If a doctor keeps prescribing a drug to their patient after he or she no longer needs it, then it is a problem. The issue comes down to tolerance levels. Patients may not be aware of a raised tolerance level due to their pace of life or mood swings. The issue of prescription drug addiction goes hand in hand with other disorders that often complicate circumstances exponentially. These are known as co-occurring disorders. Sometimes, these problems not only contribute to addiction but act as a foundation as well. They can include but are not limited to behavior issues started in childhood, depression, and illicit drug use.

Knowing how and why a cycle of addiction begins is not nearly as important as being able to recognize it happening in real time. There are basically three types of signs to look for if you suspect addiction in others or yourself. They are psychological, behavioral, and physical in their nature. Psychological symptoms include sharp and abrupt moods swings, a clear and unexplained lack of judgement, a preoccupation with drugs, and a lack of social support or interaction. Behavior symptoms include stealing, co-dependence on other people for simple and basic needs, and discrepancies in answers when questioned about drug use. Physical symptoms include sporadic sleep habits, unusual increases or declines of appetite, hyperactivity or fatigue, and consumption of prescription drugs to avoid withdraw.