What are the signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction?
Prescription drug addiction is associated with a wide range of symptoms; these can differ depending on the type of prescription medication that you are addicted to, how frequently you are taking this, and can also vary from person to person.
At Life Works, we are able to offer expert treatment for your prescription drug addiction, enabling you to overcome your symptoms, tackle withdrawal, and take steps towards a positive and healthy life, free from prescription drug dependency.
The following are signs that you, or someone you know, maybe be struggling with a harmful prescription drug addiction:
Psychological symptoms of prescription drug addiction:
Behavioural and social symptoms of prescription drug addiction:
- ‘Losing’ prescriptions meaning that you frequently ask for replacements
- Ordering prescription drugs over the internet
- Visiting lots of different doctors for the same condition, to try and obtain multiple prescriptions
- Forging or stealing prescriptions
- Consuming prescription medication faster than you should
- Finding that you are unable to stop taking prescription drugs, even though you may want to
- Inability to stop thinking about when, where and how you will obtain prescription drugs, and feeling as though this is taking over your life
- Obtaining and taking prescription drugs becomes more important that other activities that you once enjoyed
- Continuing to take prescription drugs even after experiencing negative consequences as a result
- Being secretive and defensive about your prescription drug use
- Avoiding contact with loved ones, leading to social isolation
- Neglecting your responsibilities
- Poor performance and/or attendance at work
Physical symptoms of prescription drug addiction:
- Finding that you have built a tolerance to the prescription drug, meaning that you need to take this in higher doses and on a more frequent basis, in order to experience the desired effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Slowed breathing
- High body temperature
- Heart palpitations
- Co-ordination problems
- Catatonia (periods of immobility and unresponsiveness)
- Diminished or increased appetite, leading to weight changes
- Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
- Intense cravings for the prescription drug
- The appearance of withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking or are unable to obtain the prescription drug
What are the long-term effects of prescription drug addiction?
Prescription drug misuse has the potential to cause a variety of long-term problems, which can have a hugely detrimental impact on multiple areas of your life. These may include:
- Family breakdowns
- Strained or ruined relationships
- Job loss and unemployment
- Financial difficulties
- Legal problems, including arrest and imprisonment
This page was reviewed by Steve Clarke, Hospital Director, (MSc, NCFED) in 2019 and is scheduled to be reviewed again in 2021.