Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. It can be hard to tell if someone you love has a problem because many people who abuse prescription drugs function well in their everyday lives. There are five warning signs that should raise suspicion of prescription drug addiction.
1- Mood Swings
The changes in moods are a common side effect of drug addiction. People with drug addictions suffer from changes in mood and emotions. The drugs they use cause the brain to release neurotransmitters that can change one’s perception of reality, or how someone feels. These neurotransmitter releases occur often when people are on a high dose of their chosen drug, but also when coming down off it as well. Some side effects of mood swings can include anxiety, depression, and irritability.
Physical appearance is an important sign of addiction, especially when the individual begins to look run down or “sick.” First changes in appearance are subtle. The skin may become dry and flaky, while eyes may appear sunken or bloodshot. Drug users often have a hard time concentrating on tasks at hand because of their need for the next high, making them look like they are spaced out or unfocused. As addiction progresses, changes in appearance become more noticeable and may include weight loss, tooth decay (especially if the drug is methamphetamine), skin lesions from picking at imaginary bugs crawling under the skin (known as formication), hair loss because of lack of nutrients entering the body to support healthy hair growth.
Some addicts will start spending more time alone and shutting out friends and family members. This can be a warning sign that something serious is going on with them. Isolation during drug addiction can be part of what keeps people from getting clean and sober on their own. It is usually the result of withdrawal symptoms, where someone’s body has become physically dependent on their substance of choice, or psychologically attached to its effects. When they are not high anymore, there are often severe cravings that arise to the point where addicts just want to go back. For this reason, many people will isolate themselves in order not to give in to temptation and use the prescribed again excessively.
4- Behavioral Change
Amid drug addiction, many people experience changes in their behavior. These changes can be attributed to several different factors such as mental illness, lack of sleep, and malnutrition. The root of these changes usually lies in an individual’s lack of self-care; as a result, they can begin to withdraw from friends and family. Over time, this behavior becomes the norm for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Prioritizing one’s health is difficult—especially when someone is under the influence on substances that alter their mental state. As a result, addicts will likely continue to prioritize the substances they are taking over other aspects of their lives until getting sober becomes more important than anything else in their life.
5- Financial Issues
The issues are often one of the most difficult things to deal with when you or someone you love is struggling with addiction. The problem is that drug abuse causes people to spend money on drugs, alcohol, and other substances, which leaves them in a never-ending cycle of debt. It can be hard for people who are addicted to get back on their feet financially without help from rehabilitation facilities. People who are struggling with addiction often lose their jobs. This leaves them without a source of income that they have been using to pay for drugs or alcohol, which can lead them into even more debt.