Menu Close

4 Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse in a Friend

two concerned people discussing signs of prescription drug abuse in a friend

Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern with severe consequences, not only for the individual but the people around them. It’s hard to determine whether or not somebody is abusing a prescription, especially if they are a close friend. However, it’s essential to know the signs of prescription drug abuse in a friend so that you can get them the help they need.

If you believe that your friend might be abusing prescription drugs, reach out to Northpoint Seattle today at 888.483.6031. We’re ready to discuss our prescription drug addiction treatment programs and how we can help you or a loved one recover.

4 Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse in a Friend

Prescription drug abuse can affect individuals from all walks of life and lead to physical and mental health issues. Identifying the signs of prescription drug addiction in a friend can help you intervene and get them on the road to recovery faster. The following are things to watch out for:

1. Changes in Behavior and Mood

One of the primary signs of prescription drug abuse is noticeable changes in behavior and mood. If your friend is exhibiting abrupt shifts in their usual behavior, such as becoming unusually secretive, withdrawn, or displaying erratic mood swings, it may be a sign of prescription drug addiction. 

Prescription drugs, especially those with psychoactive effects like opioids or benzodiazepines, can significantly impact a person’s mood and behavior. You may observe:

  • Heightened irritability
  • Increased agitation
  • Uncharacteristic bouts of euphoria
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities

Decline in personal hygiene is another common sign of drug addiction and the need for professional, compassionate treatment.

2. Physical Changes and Signs of Impairment

Prescription drug abuse can manifest physically, and there are specific signs to watch for. Watch for unexplained changes in your friend’s physical appearance, including weight loss, lethargy, or poor coordination. Dilated or constricted pupils, bloodshot eyes, or unsteady movements may also indicate prescription drug abuse. 

In cases where opioids are involved, respiratory depression can occur, leading to slowed breathing. This can result in a drowsy or sedated appearance. Conversely, stimulant medications may lead to increased energy levels, restlessness, or hyperactivity.

If your friend consistently displays physical signs of impairment, it’s essential to address your concerns with empathy and encourage them to seek professional help. Physical changes are often clear indicators of the toll prescription drug abuse can take on an individual’s overall well-being.

3. Social Isolation and Changes in Relationships

Prescription drug abuse can contribute to social isolation and strained relationships. If your friend starts withdrawing from social activities, avoiding gatherings, or distancing themselves from friends and family, it may be a sign of a deeper issue.

Individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse may prioritize their substance use over maintaining healthy relationships. When questioned about their behavior, they might become defensive or evasive, leading to tense interactions. If your friend’s social life appears to be dwindling, and they seem increasingly isolated, it’s essential to approach the situation with sensitivity and express your concern.

Relationship changes can extend beyond social circles and impact professional or academic connections. A decline in performance at work or school, increased absenteeism, or neglect of responsibilities may indicate a growing problem with prescription drugs.

4. Seeking Multiple Prescriptions or Doctor Shopping 

One of the more concrete signs of prescription drug abuse is the acquisition of multiple prescriptions from different doctors or engaging in “doctor shopping.” If your friend frequently seeks medical interventions for the same or similar issues from various healthcare providers, it may suggest an attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same medication.

Individuals engaging in doctor shopping may visit different doctors, emergency rooms, or urgent care centers to secure additional prescriptions without disclosing their existing medications. This behavior is often driven by an increased tolerance to the drug, leading to a perceived need for higher doses or more frequent use. 

If you notice your friend exhibiting this pattern, it’s a clear indication that they may be misusing prescription medications and require intervention and support.

Get Help for Your Friend Today with Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

If you believe that your friend might be addicted to prescription drugs, the best thing you can do is get them some help. Contact Northpoint Seattle today to discuss our treatment options by filling out our convenient online form or calling 888.483.6031