Nobody ever plans to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Despite knowing the risks that are inherent in substance abuse, each person believes that being aware of the potential for addiction will allow him or her to tow the line of addiction while maintaining the self-control and willpower not to cross it. But that’s not usually how it goes.
For some, substance abuse is a brief period of reckless experimentation. Perhaps they binge-drink or take pain medication they don’t need on a few occasions, but they quickly realize that substance abuse is not a path they want to continue. However, there are many who inadvertently lose themselves to their substance abuse. The experience of misusing mind-altering substances overcomes them, robbing them of their health, relationships, opportunities, and sometimes even their very lives.
In recent years, one of the most problematic types of substances has been pain medications or opiate painkillers. These are substances that offer many of the same effects of opium and heroin, making them extremely and very quickly addictive. And when you consider that many individuals become addicted to these prescription drugs without realizing it’s happening, it’s important for everyone to be aware of some of the signs that indicate you’re addicted to pain medication.
Increase In Usage
When the abuse of painkillers was still relatively new, the majority of people were getting them from their actual doctors. After realizing the effects they experienced at higher dosages, many of these individuals quickly began to escalate their usage, which was also due to how quickly you develop a tolerance to pain medications. The purpose of escalating one’s dosage is to attempt to overcome the tolerance by taking higher-than-needed amounts of the drug so that it will offer the desired level of intoxication and euphoria. Therefore, a very common sign of someone having a problem with prescription pain medication is the continued escalation of his or her dosage.
Changes In Personality And Behavior
Unfortunately, becoming addicted almost always includes a radical change in one’s personality and behavior. Even the most level-headed people become impulsive, reckless, and unpredictable after becoming physically and psychologically dependent on a mind-altering substance. The main reason for these changes is due to the increasingly central role that painkiller abuse takes in the addict’s life. And due to the addiction, the person is always concerned about secrecy and being able to obtain the substance of choice whenever it’s needed, otherwise he or she will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. It’s a very stressful existence and as the drug becomes more and more important, virtually all other aspects of the individual’s life are met with disinterest and, therefore, fall by the wayside, causing the individual to seem like a mere shadow of his or her former self.
Similarly, a person who has become or is becoming addicted to pain medication will begin pulling away and emotionally distancing from family members, friends, and essentially any other loved ones who would object to his or her substance abuse. In short, the individual doesn’t want anyone to try to interfere with the seeking or consumption of painkillers since being unable to obtain the substance or substances to which a person is addicted is what precipitates withdrawal.
Continued Use After Symptoms Clear
For those who obtain their painkillers legitimately — in other words, by prescription from a doctor or physician — he or she must have been suffering from some initial infliction that warranted a controlled substance to treat his or her pain. Most people would take their medications as directed for only the required amount of time, but there are those who find taking these medications to be so enjoyable that they continue trying to obtain and take them even after the symptoms of their afflictions have cleared. When a person continues taking a prescribed painkiller after having already recovered from what they were meant to treat, there’s a strong indicator that the individual either is or is becoming addicted to pain medication.
More Time Spent Seeking Painkillers
Ever since painkiller abuse became an addiction epidemic, there have been many people diverting their prescription medications by selling them on the street. This means that when a person’s prescription for pain medication runs out, there’s a strong chance that he or she could find more of the drug. And as an addiction becomes increasingly severe, an addict will spend more and more time seeking pain medications, which often includes having to resort to unsavory methods of getting the money that’s needed to pay for them. Therefore, someone with a pain medication addiction will be flakey and unreliable, prone to disappearing unexpectedly for prolonged periods of time and seemingly never available, which is due to having to spend much of his or her time seeking more painkillers.
With an addiction taking up more and more of one’s time, it becomes increasingly difficult for a painkiller addict to continue fulfilling his or her responsibilities. Things like writing college papers, going to work, and caring for one’s children seem much less important than keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay, which is how addicts justify the shirking of many of their responsibilities. Over time, a painkiller addict will have stopped fulfilling the majority of his or her obligations, even those that are extremely important.
Choose life By Calling The Palm Beach Institute For A Free Consultation Today
Addiction is an incredibly deadly disease that’s we’ve only just begun to understand. Until recently, addicts were believed to merely be bad people who were either weak in character or had lost their connections with God. Today, we know that these individuals are suffering from a chronic, progressive brain disease that renders them prone to self-destructive behavior and reckless impulses.
However, addiction is a treatable disease. At the Palm Beach Institute, we can help anyone suffering from addiction to find the treatments, programs, and services that best address each person’s unique needs. If you or someone you love would like a free consultation, call the Palm Beach Institute at 855-960-5456. Whether day or night, we’re here to help you take the first steps in your journey to health and lasting happiness.