America has a well-documented prescription drug epidemic that leads to thousands of deaths a year. Part of the reason for this widespread problem is that it’s relatively easy for people to gain access to these drugs when doctors prescribe them to help manage common conditions like pain and anxiety.
Unfortunately, it’s also all too easy to develop a dependency on these drugs because of the sensations they create in the brain. For example, prescription opioids cause a euphoric feeling, while benzodiazepines lead users to feel calm. How can you tell if prescription drug use is unmanageable?
Warning Signs of a Prescription Drug Abuse Problem
Because these drugs are so highly addictive, many people start using them according to their doctor’s orders, then rapidly progress to abuse before they fully realize the extent of their dependency. Here are some of the top warning signs prescription drug use is unmanageable.
- Taking a larger dose of the medication than doctor’s orders stipulate
- Taking someone else’s drugs
- “Doctor-hopping” – going to multiple physicians in an effort to get prescribed more drugs
- Hiding your drug supply
- Lying about how often you are using drugs
- Missing work and other responsibilities because of your increasing drug use
- Impaired judgment, memory and mood – for example, you may be more depressed, tired, agitated or anxious than usual
- Difficulty sleeping
- Withdrawing from friends, family and hobbies
- Paranoid or secretive behavior
- Thoughts revolve around drugs, even when you are not using them
- Having a high tolerance for the drugs, which means you require more of them to feel the desired effects
- Feeling anxious or stressed out when you run out of the drug and cannot get more
- Increasingly relying on the drug to help you cope with common daily problems
- Trying to quit on your own, but continuing to return to the addictive behavior due to intense cravings or painful withdrawal symptoms
What to Do When Prescription Drug Use Is Unmanageable
Because of the way drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines change the chemical pathways in the brain, it can be extremely difficult, not to mention dangerous, to try to stop using these drugs without qualified, supervised medical detox. That’s because routine use of addictive drugs like these leads to withdrawal symptoms that aren’t just unpleasant, but represent a genuine health risk to people who attempt to go “cold turkey.”
If you notice even one of these symptoms in yourself or someone you care about, it’s highly possible prescription drug use is unmanageable and you need to seek help from medical professionals. Detoxing from prescription medications like benzodiazepines and opioids is the first step in a drug rehabilitation program that can help you or a loved one regain control and develop healthy habits before it’s too late. Contact Inland Detox for drug and alcohol detoxification in Southern California.