Prescription drug abuse is increasing across the United States, and the rapid growth is not much of a surprise. More than ever before, our society is relying on drugs to solve health problems. Instead of preventing a disease and sickness, we've become accustomed to solve the issue when there is an issue.
In 2013 only 16 percent of Americans believed the country was making progress to reduce reliance on prescription medicines. Close to 40 percent of Americans thought the country was not. The old cliché, "where there's smoke, there's usually fire" couldn't ring any more true when discussing prescription drug abuse in the U.S.
If you feel like a loved one might be addicted to prescription medicines, and you want to help, you must first understand what drug addiction is. Then you can look for signs and treatment options.
If a person seems to be taking a high quantity of prescription drugs, this may not mean they are addicted to them. Instead, a doctor may require them to take that amount. On the flip side, taking a lot of drugs could lead to dependency and addiction if the person isn't mindful.
Prescription drug abuse occurs for a number of reasons, but often stems from a person's continued dependence on and lack of control when using them. Many are able to use prescription drugs without becoming addicted. However, others become fixated on these substances as a way to give them a quick high. Or, the person may take the drug and accidently become addicted to it because they've constantly relied on it to heal an injury or treat a sickness.
If you feel like your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, here are some telltale warning signs:
1. Usage unexpectedly increases
If a person has been administered a prescription, they are usually required to use a certain amount during a specific period of time. However, sometimes, after taking a drug for awhile, they may not feel like it's working. This often causes them to voluntarily increase their dosage.
While increasing dosage doesn't indicate they are addicted, it's a warning they're becoming more dependent on the narcotic. It's important to step in and suggest they speak with a doctor before increasing the intake on their own.
2. Personality change
A quick shift in personality by someone regularly using prescription medicines is a clear warning sign of drug addiction. They may feel and appear less energetic and will be less likely to have the desire to complete their day-to-day activities as these become secondary to drugs.
3. Withdrawing from social activities
When abusing medicine, he or she may withdraw from family and friends and social activities. They may make excuses about not wanting to attend gatherings.
4. Increased sensitivity
Is it more difficult to have conversations with the person? Does it appear as if they are overly sensitive to comments that the vast majority of others are receptive to?
Drug addicts become much more sensitive to sights and sounds and their emotions often become much more extreme than when they weren't relying on drugs.
While the above warning signs are only a few you may notice, there are many more. If you believe a loved one is abusing prescription medicine, it's important to take action immediately. Call the professionals, such as those at Fairwinds Treatment Center, and obtain their advice. They'll be able to advise you on how to approach the person, talk about the problem and make the suggestion that receive help.
Fairwinds Treatment Center, a dual diagnosis treatment center located in Clearwater, Florida, has over 25 years of experience in diagnosing and treating alcohol-related problems. Under the leadership of Dr. M.K (Khal) El-Yousef, Fairwinds has grown into one of the country's leading centers in using dual diagnosis as a technique to treat individuals with addictive behaviors.
In using this approach, El-Yousef and his staff of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists work to first understood the root of disease and then treat it using therapeutic counseling and clinical practices.