The American Society of Addiction Medicine estimates that around 2 million people experience painkiller addiction. While a less obvious threat than meth addiction or cocaine addiction, it can still cost someone their life through an overdose.
If a doctor prescribes you pain pills, it can feel safe. Unfortunately, you can develop an addiction even when taking a legitimate prescription. That’s why it’s critical that you know the signs of pain pill addiction.
Keep reading and we’ll cover some of the big signs.
Ignore Dosage Instructions
Doctors typically work hard at giving you a dosage that’s only high enough for pain control. They don’t want you to develop an addiction.
If you start ignoring the dosage instructions or regularly take more than one pill, it’s usually a solid sign of pain pill addiction. Unless your doctor drastically underestimated your pain level, it shouldn’t take an extra dose to control your pain.
If you do need the extra does just for pain control, you should speak with your doctor about adjusting the dose.
Unusual Mood Swings
Everyone experiences a certain amount of mood change from one day to the next. If you find that your mood changes dramatically around the same time your pill wears off, it often indicates withdrawal. Withdrawal is another sign of painkiller addiction.
As pain pills become more and more important in your life, you may abandon a hobby you love.
Let’s say you record HD videos for your YouTube channel. As you spent more time seeking out pain pills, you spend less and less time on your videos. You’ll simply stop making them if the addiction goes on long enough.
In the context of addiction, doctor shopping means that you visit several doctors looking for a prescription. Some people take extreme measures in their doctor shopping, such as driving to another city.
Treatment for pain pill addiction usually takes two or three major stages.
In the first stage, you go into a detox program. The detox program gives your body time to purge the medication from your system.
The second stage is a rehab program. For moderate or severe addiction, you’ll likely spend a month or more in a residential rehab program. While there, you’ll receive a variety of therapies and addiction education.
Some people also participate in outpatient programs after residential rehab. These programs provide more therapy and support while you resume your life as someone in recovery.
Parting Thoughts on Signs of Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller addiction is as serious as any other addiction. There’s a real possibility of overdose. Spotting the signs of addiction early gives you the best chance at recovery.
A few of the more common signs include doctor shopping, abandoning hobbies, and ignoring dosage instructions. Abrupt mood swings when your pill wears off is another good sign of addiction since it’s a sign of withdrawal.
If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you care about, talk with a medical professional about getting help.
After you finish rehab, you may find yourself looking for hobbies to fill the hours. If that’s where you are, you may want to check out our tips for film enthusiasts.