The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that excessive and chronic prescription drug use is one of the most misdiagnosed and unrecognized substance abuse problems today. Many people who misuse prescription drugs don't consider it a problem because they think that if a drug is prescribed by a physician then it can't be dangerous. Since addiction is not a disease it's hard to outline possible prescription drug addiction signs are.
Some people continue using prescription drugs long after the original medical problem no longer exists, for reasons other than the reason the drug was prescribed, or in increased quantity or frequency. It is important to know that prescription drugs have the same potential for dependency as illicit drugs.
People who misuse prescription drugs may experience behavior and mood changes. They may become anxious, hostile, agitated, or exhibit explosive behavior. Some individuals experience financial problems as they deplete their resources buying more drugs. Depending on the prescription drugs being used, the effects the drug can be long term because prescription drugs alter chemicals in the brain.
Prescription stimulants may include Ritalin and Adderall. The signs of excessive prescription stimulant use can include high blood pressure, restlessness, weight loss, irregular body temperatures, irregular heart rate, agitation, seizures, impulsive behavior, or paranoia.
Prescription opiates are painkillers and include Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, and morphine. The signs of excessive prescription opiates can include constipation, flue like symptoms, depression, confusion, sweating, or low blood pressure.
Prescription sedatives include the drugs Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Quaaludes, Nembutal and other benzos. The signs of excessive sedative drug use can include confusion, loss of a sense of time, loss of coordination while walking, impaired judgment, dizziness, drowsiness, or memory loss.
People who have become dependent on prescription drugs may create problems in attempting to get them. They may seek prescriptions from multiple physicians (doctor shop), steal prescription pads, order prescriptions over the internet, order them from other countries, buy the drug on the streets, or engage in other illegal activities to obtain more of their desired prescription drug.
If you have a problem with prescription drug addiction, making the decision to get help is a major step to re-gaining control of your life. Depending on the specific drugs you have been using, the frequency of use, and the period of time you have been using them, you may need to detoxify. Detoxification will clean your system of the toxic chemicals that are in your system from drug use. However, many people don't need detox, so ask your doctor or other qualified health care provider.
Selecting the best program to help you rebuild your life is another major decision. The non-profit St. Jude Cognitive Behavioral Education program has proven to be highly effective. Periodic outside evaluations have found thet the long term success rate of former guests of the program is at least 62%. That compares to about 5% for 12 step programs.
The choice is yours.