Prescription drugs are commonly abused, in part because they\u2019re legal and easily available. In the U.S., alarming numbers of Americans are abusing prescription painkillers in what\u2019s been deemed an opioid crisis. Many prescription drugs are relatively safe when used for their intended medical purpose, but they can also cause a high and have addictive properties. If you are worried that a loved one may be abusing prescription drugs, then it\u2019s important to know the signs of prescription drug abuse. If you see the symptoms of prescription drug abuse, reach out to the opioid addiction treatment center in MA for recovery. Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse The symptoms of a high vary depending on the type of drug the person you know is using. The main prescription drugs abused include: \tOpioids (used as painkillers) \tSedatives\/tranquilizers (used mainly to treat anxiety and sleep disorders) \tStimulants (commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) Signs of Opioid Abuse \tExtreme happiness or euphoria after taking the drug \tOnce the euphoria fades, a feeling of sedation or tiredness may take over \tConfusion \tConstricted pupils \tNodding off at random times \tShortness of breath \tDepression \tRapid decrease in blood pressure \tConstipation Signs of Sedative or Tranquilizer Abuse \tDifficulty with memory \tPoor concentration \tRapid, involuntary eye movements \tInvoluntary bodily movements, gestures, or tics \tUnsteady movements or mannerisms \tPoor judgment and decision-making \tConfusion about one\u2019s environment or time \tDizziness \tSlurred speech \tSlowed reaction time \tMuscle weakness Signs of Stimulant Abuse \tHyperactivity \tRestlessness \tParanoia \tAnxiety \tExtreme agitation or irritability \tIncreased hostility \tInsomnia \tUnexplained weight loss For any of the above signs of prescription drug abuse, the journey to recovery begins with a safe medical drug detox program in Worcester. Look for Drug-Seeking Behavior One of the most obvious signs of prescription drug abuse is drug-seeking behavior, which comes in various forms. It is vital to recognize the signs and that prescription drug misuse can occur at any age in anyone. Warning signs of prescription drug abuse include: \tVisiting multiple doctors for the same condition \tClaiming to lose prescriptions and requesting that a doctor replace them \tFrequently making requests for refills from doctors \tStealing or borrowing prescription pills from friends, family members, or co-workers \tTaking prescription medications sooner than advised \tInconsistent or deceptive answers to questions about their prescription drug use \tForging or stealing prescriptions \tOrdering prescription drugs over the internet \tContinuing to take prescription drugs when they are no longer needed to treat a condition \tTaking more than the recommended dose Understanding Prescription Drug Abuse Many types of prescription drugs, such as opioids (e.g. OxyContin) and benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax), carry the risk of addiction. Because of the euphoria they can produce, addiction can eventually develop. Increased use means tolerance also increases, so your loved one needs more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. If someone you know is struggling with this kind of drug addiction, signs include: \tMood swings, which can be related to whether prescription drugs are available or not \tIncreased irritability, especially when prescription drugs are unavailable \tChanging sleep patterns \tIncreased alcohol use \u2013 People who abuse prescription drugs often mix them with alcohol to boost the feelings of euphoria. This cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol increases the risk of physical complications, including overdose. When a loved one cannot get a new prescription or access to their drug of choice, they may go through a period of withdrawal. Picking up on the signs of withdrawal can help alert you to drug addiction. Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can differ significantly based on: \tThe type of prescription drug a loved one is addicted to \tHow much of the drug is used \tHow long they\u2019ve used it for \tThe extent to which they\u2019re addicted Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms of an addiction to pills include: \tDecreased self-confidence and self-esteem \tDepression \tRacing thoughts \tIrritability \tAgitation \tRestlessness \tInsomnia \tIntense cravings for the drug \tShakes and tremors \tDiarrhea \tSeizures \tCold flashes \tInvoluntary leg movements, such as kicking \tSweating \tBone and muscle pain \tVomiting and nausea Getting over these withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly difficult. If a loved one is experiencing them, they may find them too unpleasant to handle and will seek out their drug of choice in order to feel better again. This is why you need to look out for withdrawal symptoms, so you can help the person you love to deal with prescription drug abuse and choose sobriety. How to Help a Loved One It can be difficult to know how to help a loved one who\u2019s addicted to pills. They may tell you they need the drug in order to treat their condition, and you can\u2019t tell how legitimate their drug-taking behavior is. Being able to spot the signs and symptoms mentioned above will make a big difference: You can more easily distinguish between responsible drug use and harmful, risky drug abuse. If you think someone you love is abusing pills, there are a few ways you can help them. First, try to keep judgment at bay, as prescription drug abuse can affect anyone. Often, people use these drugs to deal with legitimate physical or psychiatric conditions, only to find themselves dependent on the drug\u2019s effects down the line. Don\u2019t Enable Drug Abuse A loved one with a substance abuse problem may start asking you for favors that aid their drug-taking behavior. These could include: \tGiving them money \tTaking them to the doctor (or multiple doctors) \tGiving them your prescription drugs A loved one may also become emotional or resort to guilt-tripping, manipulation, deception, or pleading. You may find it difficult to refuse their requests, especially when they insist that they need the drugs to handle pain. Nevertheless, you have to be strong in these situations. Be firm and compassionate about why you are denying their requests, making clear that you will not enable their prescription drug abuse. This approach ultimately helps a loved one\u2019s recovery. Seek Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse There are various treatments that can help a loved one who is hooked on prescription drugs. Discuss these options with your loved one and a medical professional, so you can both figure out what course of action is best for them. Programs include: \tInpatient drug rehab in Worcester \tIntensive outpatient rehab \tPartial hospitalization program (PHP) in MA \tMen's and women's rehab \tExtended care addiction treatment in MA You may feel like you want to save a loved one from prescription drug abuse, and while there are things you can do to help, you cannot force a loved one to never abuse drugs again and stay sober. The most effective thing you can do is provide them with compassion and care, and support them in their chosen path to recovery. Contact Washburn House with any questions about opioid addiction and treatment. Call to speak with addiction specialists today.