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Signs Your Loved One May Be Abusing Prescription Drugs

a man using medications wonders what are the signs of prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse refers to taking prescription drugs in a manner other than how your doctor prescribed them. Many prescription drugs can be highly addictive, and their abuse can quickly lead to prescription drug addiction. When you suspect a loved one is abusing prescription drugs, they might not admit it even when confronted. Prescription drug addiction can bring serious complications, ranging from altered personality to fatal overdose. Knowing the signs of prescription drug abuse can help you recognize a problem and take action before it’s too late.

Silicon Beach Treatment Center can help with prescription drug abuse. Contact us today at 213.460.1706 to discuss treatment options when a loved one is abusing prescription drugs.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is the use of prescription medication in any way other than as prescribed by a doctor. Common forms of prescription abuse include:

  • Not following dosage and frequency instructions
  • Taking drugs not prescribed by a doctor
  • Using someone else’s prescription
  • Taking in a form other than directed, such as crushing or snorting
  • Taking a prescription to feel good rather than out of medical necessity

What Types of Prescription DrugsDo People Abuse?

Some types of the most commonly abused prescription drugs and their popular brand names include:

  • Opioids (Oxycontin, Percocet)
  • Anti-anxiety medications (Xanax)
  • Sedatives (Valium)
  • Hypnotics (Ambien)
  • Stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall)

A loved one might procure these drugs through another person or abuse prescriptions given to them by a doctor.

What Are the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse?

The specific physical signs of prescription drug abuse can depend on the type of drug being abused. This is because abuse of prescription drugs happens with a range of different drugs. Abuse of an opiate might result in lethargy and frequent sleep, while abuse of a stimulant might cause heightened energy levels and activity. However, there are common signs that all forms of prescription drug abuse have in common. Symptoms that may indicate prescription drug abuse include:

  • Prescriptions used up at a fast rate
  • Requests for early refills
  • Prescriptions for the same drug from multiple doctors
  • Claims that prescriptions were lost or misplaced
  • Presence of drugs without a prescription
  • Finding pills in incorrect bottles or not in bottles

If you have suspicions that a loved one is abusing prescription drugs, taking action can help stop the abuse.

What to Do When a Loved One Is Abusing Prescription Drugs

It’s difficult to help someone stop abusing prescription drugs if they are defensive or won’t admit there’s a problem. You can start by having a conversation. Prescription drug abuse can be difficult to discuss because a user may believe that their actions are justified due to a medical condition. Your loved one may not even realize that practices like taking higher doses than prescribed can be a sign of substance use disorder. If they’re open to change, discuss treatment options and support them in creating a treatment plan.

If a loved one remains resistant to conversations about their prescription drug abuse, you can try bringing their doctor into the conversation. They may be more open to a medical professional’s suggestions.

Find Treatment for Yourself or a Loved One at Silicon Beach Treatment Center

Prescription drug abuse is serious. If your loved one is abusing prescription drugs, help is available at Silicon Beach Treatment Center. Our clients have access to programs specifically designed to counter the unique circumstances of prescription drug addiction, which may involve addressing medical conditions and chronic pain related to the need for prescription drugs. Contact Silicon Beach Treatment Center at 213.460.1706 to speak with a behavioral health specialist about how to get help for a loved one’s prescription drug addiction.