WARNING SIGNS OF PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLER DEPENDENCY
Here are ten warning signs to watch for if you think someone you know may be experiencing a dependency on these drugs:
1. Usage increase: increase of one’s dose over time, as a result of growing tolerant to the drug and needing more to get the same effect.
2. Change in personality: shifts in energy, mood, and concentration as a result of everyday responsibilities becoming secondary to the need for the drug.
3. Social withdrawal: withdrawal from family and friends.
4. Ongoing use: continued use of painkillers after the medical condition they were meant to relieve has improved.
5. Time spent on obtaining prescriptions: spending large amounts of time driving great distances and visiting multiple doctors to obtain the drugs.
6. Change in daily habits and appearance: decline in personal hygiene; change in sleeping and eating habits; constant cough, running nose and red, glazed eyes.
7. Neglects responsibilities: neglect of household chores and bills; calling in sick to school or work more often.
8. Increased sensitivity: normal sights, sounds and emotions becoming overly stimulating to the person; hallucinations.
9. Blackouts and forgetfulness: forgetting events that have taken place and experiencing blackouts.
10. Defensiveness: becoming defensive and lashing out in response to simple questions in an attempt to hide a drug dependency, if users feel their secret is being discovered.
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Fact Sheet on Prescription Drug Abuse
- “Older Americans fight drug abuse,” 3 Jul 2008, International Herald Tribune
- “Methadone rises as a painkiller with big risks,” 17 Aug 2008, New York Times
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- “Warning on painkillers,” 4 May 2007, Financial Times
- 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- “Depressants,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information
- ABC of drugs, channel4.com
- A Brief History of Opium, opioids.com
- OxyContin Information, National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information
- OxyContin: Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Info Facts: Prescription Pain and Other Medications
- National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report, “Prescription Drugs, Abuse and Addiction 2001”
- “Some Commonly Prescribed Medications: Use and Consequences,” National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute of Justice, Drug and Alcohol Use and Related Matters Among Arrestees, 2003
- U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, “Drug Facts: OxyContin,” and “Prescription Drug Facts & Figures”
- “New Report Reveals More Than 1000 People Died in Illegal Fentanyl Epidemic of 2005-2007,” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- “Teen OTC & Prescription Drug Abuse,” teenoverthecounterdrugabuse.com