Did you know that there are nearly 2 million people in the United States who suffer from an addiction related to opioid pain medication?
There’s no doubt that the opioid crisis is a systemic problem in the United States, but what draws the line between taking pain pills for medical purposes and relying on them for a physical dependency?
Admitting you have a problem with a pain pill addiction is a difficult realization that can turn your life upside down, but it can also save your life as well.
Keep reading this article to learn the signs of addiction and what the next step is if you or someone you know is suffering from a pain pill addiction.
What Is an Addiction?
The word “addiction” is rather daunting, and it can be scary to admit that you may be suffering from one. Addiction is defined as “a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body.”
When someone suffers from a pain pill addiction, they can be addicted to the behavioral habits that the medication causes or the substance itself.
Before you start to identify prominent side effects and symptoms of addiction, it’s important to identify the initial signs. The initial signs can include:
- A family history of addiction
- A previous situation where you expressed an addictive personality
- Consciously putting yourself in situations where the substance is present
- Having a history of substance experimentation
Pain pill addiction can impact one’s behavior, personality, and social interactions because the drug starts to become the main focus of one’s life. Behavioral signs of addiction include:
- Taking a higher dose than what is prescribed
- Taking the medication more often than what is prescribed
- Taking someone else’s prescription
- Stealing the medication
- Paying for the medication with money you don’t have
- Prioritizing pain pills before your job, family or relationship
Often times, family members and friends are the ones who are able to spot the behavioral signs of pain pill addiction as they are the ones who have an outside perspective of the situation.
Physical signs of a pain pill addiction occur because the body starts to rely on the drug to function. Of course, withdrawal is an obvious, physical indicator of addiction, but there is more to physical signs than that.
Physical signs can include:
- Sudden urges to take the medication
- Sudden weight loss
- Nausea, chills or shakes when you don’t take the medication
- Unusual body odors
If your physical symptoms become extreme, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Admitting You Have a Problem
If you are experiencing the initial, behavioral or physical signs of a pain pill addiction, it’s important to seek help from your doctor. Some forms of treatment can include slowly lowering your dose, inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab. Admitting you have a problem can be difficult, but there are a variety of support methods to help you treat your addiction.
Take a look at our health articles for more information.