Prescription drug abuse is a steadily increasing problem. Not only are people abusing their own prescribed pain killers and narcotics, young adults and teens are buying prescription medications from dealers to get high and party. Popular prescription drugs that people abuse include opioids like Oxycontin and Vicodin, anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium, and stimulants like Ritalin. Each type of prescription drug abuse has its own signs and symptoms to be aware of. There are several signs that are evident in all prescription drug abuse.
1. Mood Swings
It is common for abusers to experience frequent mood swings. The drugs they take can easily affect their mood. As they are coming off the high, their body starts to crash and they begin to feel frustrated, confused and angry. These feelings can easily turn hostile, especially if they are out of medication. Keeping reading for more signs of prescription drug abuse.
2. Poor Decision
If you notice a friend that you used to admire for always making the best choice, start making constant bad decisions, you may want to talk to her. Feel her out, there is a good chance she is involved with taking some sort of prescription medication or illegal drugs. Don’t be surprised if she becomes very defensive about your speculation. Unfortunately, this may not be a problem you can help her with. If your friend is a teenager, I would definitely tell a trusted adult to get her help.
3. Rapid Eye Movement
One sign of anti-anxiety drug abuse is involuntary rapid eye movement. You may notice people who are taking Xanax at a party having eyes that are constantly moving around. It is almost like their eyes are vibrating in their heads. The best way to see this is to have the person look to the left or to the right. We’ve all seen police officers ask suspected drunk drivers to follow their fingers back and forth. They aren’t testing to see if the driver can focus on their fingers. They are actually testing for rapid eye movement.
4. Weight Loss
A while back there were stories of moms taking their children’s hyperactive and ADHD medication to increase their energy. It became so popular it was a story line on Desperate Housewives. While the medication is used to calm an overactive child, it has the reverse effect on a regular person. It can increase metabolism and cause rapid weight loss, high blood pressure, irritability, irregular heartbeat, and impulsive behavior.
People who abuse painkillers experience several different symptoms, one of them being confusion. You might also notice sweating, lack of coordination, and shallow breathing. It is easy for an abuser to overdose on prescription pain medication.
6. Run out of Pills
If you hear someone talking about how their prescription will be empty before they are good for a refill, you can easily assume they have taken more than their prescribed amount. This is the same for people who are constantly talking about losing a prescription, or switching doctors frequently. They are shopping around for a doctor who will write prescriptions without much care. It’s unfortunate, but there are doctors out there who do this.
7. Self- Recognition
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or are fully aware that you have been misusing your own prescription medication or those of someone in your household, it’s not too late to seek help. Tell a family member or a close friend and also speak to your doctor about your prescription drug abuse. Admitting and seeking help for your problem are the first steps to recovery.
Prescription drug abuse should not be taken lightly. It is an increasingly popular problem. In most places, teenagers can get their hands on heavy pain medication and sedatives just as easily as they can alcohol and illegal drugs. Know the signs for prescription drug abuse. Do you have a personal story about prescription drug abuse you would like to share?