The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that almost half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug each and every month, and 10.6 percent of Americans take five or more prescription medications each month. When everyone is using prescription pills, it can be difficult to discern the difference between healthy use and use that crosses the line into addictions. Spotting any of these 10 warning signs could indicate that a problem is taking hold.
1. Taking the medication to boost a mood
Prescription medications can be remarkably helpful in treating all sorts of illnesses. But if someone is taking that medication in order to get high or to forget a bad day, that usage might be considered problematic.
2. Taking the medication to make a party more interesting
Medications shouldn’t be considered party-enhancing supplements. Someone who is tempted to use in order to get the party started might be moving into the realm of addiction.
3. Taking the medication without a prescription
It’s illegal to take prescription medications without the approval and supervision of a medical professional. Those who ignore these laws could be headed straight toward an addiction.
4. Visiting multiple doctors to get more of the drug
Doctors are required to pay attention to usage rates of some medications, and sometimes that means they restrict access to certain kinds of drugs. Users who attempt to skirt those rules by making appointments with many doctors, or by heading to the emergency room, might need professional addiction help.
5. Faking illnesses to get the prescription
Pretending that a specific body part is painful could help a user to score potent drugs as might pretending that a mental illness is in play. But these behaviors could also indicate that the user is abusing these drugs, not taking them therapeutically.
6. Buying the drug from street dealers
Many drug dealers stock up on prescription medications for their customers. Buying from them typically means that someone is willing to do anything to get drugs.
7. Stealing the drug from friends or family members Someone deep in the throes of addiction might choose to raid the family medicine cabinet or go on real estate home tours in order to steal drugs from strangers. Any of these techniques could indicate that an addiction is unfolding.
8. Stealing in order to pay for drugs
Buying drugs from dealers can be remarkably expensive, and that might force addicts to steal money or possessions in order to keep their habits alive. Someone willing to dip into a life of crime might very well have an addiction.
9. Facing a serious life consequence due to drug use
There are all sorts of horrible consequences that can take hold due to prescription drug abuse, including:
Someone who is facing a serious consequence like one of these, directly related to the use of drugs, might benefit from a tough talk that could bring that behavior to an end.
10. Finding it impossible to stop
Some people with addictions to medications try to stop, and they find that they simply cannot do so without help. An intervention might help someone like this to understand how treatment works.