Menu Close

3 Signs Of Prescription Drug Addiction

Man experiencing signs of prescription drug addiction

Many people in the U.S. live with chronic pain and other conditions that may warrant prescription drugs over the short term. Unfortunately, many who receive such medications by doctors also develop unhealthy use patterns that necessitate prescription drug addiction treatment programs later on. Looking for help in the Washington State area? Call Northpoint Seattle at 888.483.6031 to learn more about the signs of prescription drug addiction and what treatment options may work well for you.

What Are the Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction?

Opioids, used for pain management following acute traumas like surgery or as a way to manage chronic pain, are the most frequently abused class of prescription drugs. They act as powerful nervous system depressants and change how the brain uses dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for sensations of pleasure and reward. Stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall) used to treat ADHD are also highly addictive when used incorrectly. Finally, benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety and insomnia can be extremely habit-forming and problematic when not taken as directed.

3 Signs Of Prescription Drug Addiction

Needless to say, there are many compounds on the market that, while helpful when used as directed, also can be very problematic due to their habit-forming nature. Here are three key signs to watch for that suggest you may have become chemically addicted to prescription drugs:

  1. Your primary relationships and job or school performance are suffering due to preoccupation with drug use.
  2. You are engaged in illegal or unethical behavior to continue procuring the drug you’re using. This could look like “doctor shopping,” in which you try to get multiple prescriptions from different doctors, lying about losing pills to get a second refill, taking someone else’s meds, or buying pills on the street.
  3. You show physical side effects associated with the drug or drugs you’ve been using. For example, people addicted to opioids often experience constipation, confusion, shallow breathing, and drowsiness. Benzos, like Xanax, are famous for impairing short-term memory formation. Stimulants like ADHD meds can dangerously reduce appetite and cause irregular heart rate, high body temperature, anxiety, and paranoia.

If you suspect you or a loved one is in need of prescription drug addiction treatment, let Northpoint Seattle help.

What Levels of Care Could Be Helpful if I Show Prescription Drug Abuse Signs?

The most important first step in getting quality care is scheduling an assessment with a doctor or addiction specialist. This medical professional can take your medical history, assess what substances are in your system, and help determine what course of care is most likely to succeed. In some cases, residential treatment may be the best first-line treatment. After detoxing under supervision, you’ll live at the rehab center for several weeks to ensure maximum supervision and access to medical care. This can be a powerful way to begin treatment since it ensures significant resources and safety.

In the case of less severe addictions, or when patients have already gone through residential care, a partial hospitalization program or intensive outpatient program may suffice. The former typically lasts five to six weeks and patients can live at home. Sessions occur onsite about as often as a part-time job. For those who are ready to take on significant daily life responsibilities again, intensive outpatient programs can be a good choice. Lasting about eight weeks, these offerings are flexible and often occur at night or on weekends to allow for daytime employment or childcare commitments.

Finally, outpatient services may last for four or more months and give patients a great final step before entering aftercare or alumni services, which typically continue as long as needed. It’s worth noting that, in any level of care where patients don’t live onsite, a stable home life is necessary for success. Being surrounded by triggers to resume drug use or coping with excessive stress is extremely counterproductive. It’s thus important to make an honest assessment early on related to larger lifestyle changes that may be needed to ensure lasting recovery from prescription drug abuse.

Get More Help Identifying Prescription Drug Addiction Signs by Contacting Northpoint Seattle Now

If you or a loved one is dealing with a prescription drug use disorder, don’t lose heart. Quality care is available and with commitment and support, lasting sobriety and personal agency are possible. Reach out to Northpoint Seattle for resources in Washington State by calling 888.483.6031. You can also fill out our confidential online contact form to reach us electronically.