People who are addicted to drugs, either purchased illegally or via the medications in their prescriptions, will usually change their behavior significantly, as the addiction begins to take hold of various aspects of their lives. These behavioral, social and financial signs – clear signs of addiction – can include:
- Socializing with unusual groups of people or changing friends
- Spending more and more time alone, thus, avoiding time with family and friends
- Losing interest in normal activities and hobbies
- Lacking personal hygiene, such as not bathing/showering regularly, not changing their clothes regularly, or not brushing their teeth every day
- Being both fatigued and depressed
- Eating more or less than normal
- Being overly energetic, talking too fast, and saying things that simply don’t make sense
- Being cranky or nervous
- Undergoing quick changes of mood
- Sleeping at odd hours, or not sleeping enough
- Missing important appointments, and not looking after their responsibilities
- Legal problems
- Missing work or school regularly
- Experiencing financial hardship, such as being unable to meet normal commitments
Additionally, becoming addicted specifically to an opioid prescription will present further signs, which can include:
- Asking the family physician to extend an opioid prescription or increase the dosage
- Asking another physician to extend an opioid prescription or increase the dosage
- Going to poorer areas of the neighborhood looking for drug dealers and / or blackmarket opioid tablets
- Contemplating the use of heroin or actively looking for heroin dealers
The Dangers of Opioid Prescription Addiction
We cannot overstate the dangers of left-over opioid prescriptions – it is an accident or even an addiction just waiting to happen if you keep opioid medication around longer than you need to. You have probably heard of the opioid brand name prescription meds called Vicodin and OxyContin, but can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you know that Ryzolt or Trezix are also both opioid brand name prescription meds, too?
Too many of these types of prescriptions are simply sitting forgotten in unlocked medicine cabinets across the U.S. – it is essential to store them securely until you can dispose of them safely. Please remember that it is highly dangerous if you have a young child living at home. Young kids will often mistake pills for candy and take and swallow them without any hesitation.
Furthermore, not only is there the risk of family members or close friends misusing these medications, if you do not dispose of them in one of the ways described above, and they are simply thrown out with the trash, there is the risk that drug users and dealers will dig through your household garbage for them.
Lastly, there is the ever-present danger of developing an opioid prescription addiction. If you or a loved one is possibly suffering from a generic opioid addiction or other substance abuse problem, please know that there are fully qualified, clinical and medical professionals ready and willing to help.