What are the symptoms of prescription drug addiction?

Addiction to prescription drugs is a problem not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the United States. If you suspect that a loved one may have a drug problem, you should know the signs and symptoms to watch for. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of a prescription drug addiction depend on the type(s) of drugs used. Opioid addiction is a prevalent problem that has received a lot of attention in the news lately, but prescription drug abuse is not limited to opioids. Other commonly abused prescription drugs include stimulants, such as those used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anti-anxiety medications, such as Valium and Xanax.

Though prescribed for different reasons, anti-anxiety medications and opioids sometimes produce similar effects, including confusion, drowsiness, slowed breathing, poor coordination or unsteadiness when walking. While opioids may induce a feeling of euphoria, they can also cause nausea or constipation. Anti-anxiety medications can produce dizziness, slurred speech and poor concentration.

Stimulants work differently in the body and so their effects on the body are different as well. Someone who abuses stimulants may exhibit high blood pressure, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, high body temperature as well as psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, paranoia or agitation.

Other warning signs that someone may have a prescription drug abuse problem include excessive mood swings, poor decision making and unusual increases or decreases in energy level. They may repeatedly report that they have lost their prescription and require a new one, or they may seek prescriptions from more than one doctor, steal a prescription from someone else or forge their own prescriptions.

The good news is that drug addiction is treatable, and people who use their medications as prescribed are unlikely to become addicted in the first place.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.