pain pill addiction

What to Expect If You’re Experiencing Pain Pill Addiction

Did you know that more than 2 million Americans have either become dependent on or have become addicted to pain pills?

While pain pills help individuals manage legitimate cases of intolerable pain, they also fuel a dangerous addiction that has swept across the country.

Pain pill addiction is a very serious disease, and it is even more serious if you don’t realize that you have an addiction.

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing a pain pill addiction, please know that you are not alone. We are here to walk you through everything you need to know about pain pill addiction and what you can do to treat the addiction.

What is Pain Pill Addiction?

Pain pills are extremely beneficial to managing pain when prescribed by a doctor for a short amount of time. However, pain pills are highly addictive because they create a rush of euphoria by binding to the area of the brain that controls pain and emotions and then releasing a rush of dopamine, which is the feel-good hormone in the body. This euphoric high sensation is what can easily result in the misuse of painkillers.

But, believe it or not, there is a difference between being dependent on pain pills and being addicted to pain pills. If your body is dependent on pain pills, that means that you have built up a tolerance to your medication, which requires a higher dosage to help your body receive the same medical effect.

When you are addicted to pain pills, it is more than just building a physical tolerance to a drug. An addiction encompasses both physical and emotional addictions. This means that the pain pills are affecting who you are and they are beginning to take over your life.

An addiction to pain pills also means that the medication is starting to cause uncontrolled behaviors and problems in your daily life such as at work, at school or at home. Continuing to take pain pills despite these issues is where you start to cross the line into an addiction.

Symptoms of Pain Pill Addiction

Symptoms of a pain pill addiction include physical symptoms, behavioral, symptoms and psychological symptoms. If you have gone too far and are experiencing a pain pill addiction, you can expect the following symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Itchy, flushed skin
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Death

People experience pain pill addiction symptoms based on their genetic makeup, how long they have been addicted to pain pills and the severity of their addiction.

Warning Signs That You are Developing a Pain Pill Addiction

Pain pill addiction does not come out of left field. If you pay attention, you can catch these addiction signs before it is too late. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following warning signs, it is crucial that you see a doctor or rehab center to control your addiction before it is too late.

1. You’re Becoming Dependent on Pain Pills

While becoming dependent on pain pills doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted to pain pills, it is something that you should be conscious of. Becoming dependent on pain pills shows that you have been taking a lot of the medication and that your body is starting to need more and more to develop the same effect.

Once you cross that line and start taking more pain pills, you are becoming susceptible to a painkiller addiction and putting your body in a vulnerable situation. If you realize that you are becoming dependent on your pain pill prescription, take a step back and tell your doctor about your concerns. It might be time to focus on weaning yourself off of the drug or simply taking a break to focus on your health.

2. You Start to Take a Different Amount Than What Your Doctor Prescribed

Maybe you think that your doctor simply doesn’t understand your level of pain, and you think it is in your best interest to take more than what they prescribed you. Your doctor prescribed a specific amount of medication for a very specific reason, and that is to ensure that it relieves pain while preventing you from overwhelming your body and becoming addicted.

If you start to take a smaller dose so you can take more later on or stretch out the time between your dosage so you can take another pill before bed, you are taking your first steps toward an addiction. By trying to control your medications, it is showing that you are, in fact, not in control of yourself anymore. Your doctor knows best, and it is important to take your prescription exactly as it says.

3. You Find Yourself Thinking About Your Medication a Lot

If you find that you are often thinking about your pain pills throughout your day, you could be in danger of a painkiller addiction. You don’t have to necessarily be thinking about how bad you need your pain pills. Instead, this sign includes wondering about when you get to take your pain pills next, wondering if your dosage needs to be increased or constantly worrying about running out of your pain pills.

If you are counting down the seconds until you get to take your pain pills next, this can also be a sign that you are becoming addicted to your pain medication.

4. You Notice Changes in Your Behavior

Like we mentioned earlier, pain pills affect the reward area of your brain and cause a euphoric high. It is a bad sign if you notice that you are experiencing mood swings or even find yourself taking the drug specifically to put yourself in a better mood. It is also a bad sign if you notice you are in an unpleasant mood when you are not taking the drug as opposed to feeling like your normal self.

This is something that is often spotted by the other people around you because they are the ones who are seeing the changes from an outside perspective. If someone mentions to you that you might be having mood swings or they are noticing changes in your behavior, chances are they are just trying to help you.

5. You Notice Changes in Your Character

It is one thing for your mood to change frequently and for you to feel a euphoric rush when you take your pain pills and a sense of depression when you don’t take your pain pills. However, it is a whole new world when you start to notice changes in your character.

Do you find yourself asking other people to borrow money to pay for your habit? Have you started stealing from work because you don’t have enough money for your next refill? Do you find yourself stealing drugs from others or even just thinking about it? These are all huge red flags that need to be addressed and fixed.

6. You’re Defensive If Someone Talks to You About Your Pain Pills

If someone asks you about your prescription or your mood changes, you become angry and/or defensive. It is likely that if you are already experiencing mood swings because of your pain pills, but becoming angry or irrational when someone confronts you about your drugs is another red flag. If you perceive your drugs as a sensitive topic, maybe it is time that you seek help.

7. You Visit More Than One Doctor for Pain Pills

Do you find yourself “doctor shopping” or visiting more than one doctor just to get another prescription when your original doctor cut you off? Do you find yourself searching for doctors who are known to prescribe more pain pills than they should, otherwise known as “pill mills”?

If you are going out of your way to obtain more pain pills through a second doctor, it is not just a concern but also a risk. Remember earlier when we said that doctors prescribe medications specifically to reflect your pain level and vulnerability to become addicted? If you are taking a prescription from two different doctors at a time, they are unable to track your drug intake.

8. You Start Getting Pain Pills from Other Sources

You’ve tried everything to get more pain pills, even going to other doctors, but you just can’t get your hands on any more pills. This is when people start trying everything they can think of to get their fix.

Do you ask your friends for their pain pills? Maybe you are searching to buy them over the internet? Did you steal a doctor’s prescription pad to illegally write your own prescriptions? Do you steal pills out of other’s medicine cabinets or from a sick relative? Do you intentionally hurt yourself so you have to go to the hospital for another prescription?

9. Pain Pills are the Most Important Things in Your Life

Because pain pills are so highly addictive, it can be easy to forget your main responsibilities in life such as work, school, family, friends and your pets.

Do you find that your hobbies don’t necessarily matter to you anymore because you are so engulfed in your pain pills? Is your spouse complaining that you aren’t always attentive? Is your boss noticing that you aren’t giving your best work? If you find yourself focusing on pain pills as opposed to your responsibilities, you can be headed down a dark path.

What to Expect From a Pain Pill Addiction

These are all very serious signs of addiction, and if you find yourself or anyone you know going this far out of their way to receive pain pills, it is time to take the next step toward treating an addiction.

It is important to realize the long-term effects of a pain pill addiction. The following symptoms can take place if you do not receive help for your addiction:

  • Liver/kidney failure or disease
  • Weakened immunity
  • Cardiovascular complications
  • Drastic behavior changes
  • Frequent anger or rage
  • Paranoia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Damaged relationships
  • Death via overdose or toxicity

Once you realize that you have an addiction, you can take your first steps toward an effective recovery. The withdrawal process for a pain pill addiction is quite intense if you just quit taking your pain pills. This is also known as going “cold turkey”.

The withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation

However, it is recommended that you participate in a drug detox treatment under your doctor’s supervision because there is a risk of death during detox due to the number of toxins in your body.

One way to do this is by participating in replacement therapy. This involves replacing your pain pills with Methadone or Suboxone under a doctor’s care. These drugs do not provide a euphoric high, so they are essentially teaching your body to live without the high while preventing the withdrawal symptoms that can persist if you go cold turkey.

However, replacement therapy is often perceived as contradicting because you are addressing your drug addiction with other drugs. Some people even stay on the replacement drugs for years.

Other forms of drug treatment can include:

  • Outpatient rehab
  • Inpatient rehab
  • Counseling
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Physical fitness
  • Alternative therapy (yoga and meditation)

The key is to find what works for you.

Treating a Pain Pill Addiction

Pain pill addiction is a very serious disease, and choosing the correct treatment plan is imperative in helping you achieve a sober lifestyle. Recovering from a pain pill addiction may sound intimidating, but it is important to realize that you are taking steps to develop a sober mind. It is also important to remember that you are not alone.

Here at Addiction Treatment Services, we want to help you better understand your dilemma and provide you with expert direction in your search for the most effective rehab center to fit your specific needs.

Don’t wait for you or your loved one’s pain pill addiction to get worse. Please feel free to reach out to us today if you have any questions about treatment, addiction or scheduling an intervention.

Xanax withdrawal

Comprehending the When and How to Xanax Withdrawal

1 out of 7 Americans will struggle with addiction.

What does the word addiction mean to you? For most people, when they hear of someone being an “addict”, they think of them as lacking willpower. If they really wanted to quit, they would just stop, right?

Unfortunately, addiction is a deceptive disease that doesn’t have anything to do with willpower. Many people are aware they have a substance abuse problem yet they don’t know what to do about it.

Fortunately, new studies are helping medical communities better understand addiction. Previous negative stereotypes are being erased and treatment methods are improving.

People are learning that addiction is a chronic disorder that usually requires some kind of intervention. Without outside help, it can be more difficult and even impossible for the individuals to quit using a substance.

Are you or a loved one suffering from an addiction to Xanax? Learning about Xanax withdrawal can help prepare you for what lies ahead. Read on to learn about how and when you should quit taking Xanax.

How Xanax Works

Xanax withdrawal is easier to understand when you know how Xanax works. The official medical name for Xanax is alprazolam, and it belongs to the benzodiazepines family.

While benzodiazepines aren’t opioids, they are a type of painkiller and tranquilizer. Because Xanax affects your mood, it’s considered a type of psychoactive drug. It’s also a sedative with effects that are similar to those of valium.

Doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines with the intention of the patient using them temporarily. Minor wounds, surgeries, and dental procedures often result in a prescription for benzodiazepines. However, they can also receive a prescription to take on an as-needed basis for panic disorders.

What Does Xanax Do to Your Brain Chemistry?

Xanax affects your brain and central nervous system with the purpose of helping your body to calm down. Xanax is meant to treat anxiety and problems with panic disorders. It works by communicating with your brain’s GABA neurotransmitter.

GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid. Your body naturally produces the chemical GABA to produce sedative effects. If you’re in distress, your brain receives a message.

Your body tells your brain that you are feeling a negative emotion and need help. Anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear all send signals to your brain that you should try to relax.

In an effort to calm you down, your body will release GABA. After you take Xanax, it works on enhancing your GABA neurotransmitter’s activity. As a result, more of the calming chemical enters your bloodstream.

When used for a long time, Xanax can cause mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. If you take high dosages for a long period of time, the withdrawal symptoms can become more intense. After a long period of use, Xanax will no longer be as effective on your body.

Xanax isn’t a bad medication–it’s actually very good at helping people overcome their anxieties. However, many people struggle with its addictive properties. Individuals who have had drug and alcohol problems before are more prone to becoming addicted.

The standard dose for Xanax is usually between .75 and 1.5 milligrams. Directions for dosages will be different for every individual. However, in most cases, doctors will tell patients to only take Xanax when they really need it.

How Long Does It Stay In Your System?

Xanax begins working the moment your body starts to digest it.

Within minutes of taking it, you’ll feel the drug affecting your central nervous system. When you take it in high dosages, Xanax can give users a euphoric relaxation. It’s easy to abuse Xanax because it works quickly and is noticeably effective.

Many people with an addiction to Xanax say they use the drug to escape from negative feelings. You can become addicted to Xanax even if you take the recommended dosage. Your body begins to crave the mental escape and feeling of peace.

After taking Xanax for a few weeks, it can start to become habit forming. You’ll notice that you feel the need to take more of the drug and you feel anxious when you’re running low.

The high you feel from high dosages of Xanax only lasts 2-4 hours. During that time the user won’t feel an ounce of pain or worry. However, after the high has worn off, you might feel sluggish and tired.

After prolonged use of Xanax, your body will build a tolerance. Your body will no longer respond to the drug at the same level it was before.

Instead of releasing a lot of GABA, your brain will only release a little bit. As the GABA production slows down, the user will have to take even higher dosages.

You can become dependent on Xanax to regulate your brain’s activity. If you develop a dependence on Xanax, you’ll only be happy when you have it in your system. After developing a dependency, you can start to experience problems with withdrawal symptoms.

Next, we’ll explain exactly what withdrawal means.

What Is Xanax Withdrawal?

It is possible to become addicted to a substance that you have a prescription for. Individuals are most likely prescribed Xanax because of a problem that’s affecting the quality of their life.

The problem could be anxiety issues, panic disorders, or other feelings of fear and impending doom. Anxiety and panic disorders can be symptoms of a chemical imbalance. Xanax is helpful but doesn’t fix the chemical imbalance causing the anxiety or panic.

Instead, Xanax is more like a band-aid that helps cover up the symptoms with a temporary solution. Withdrawing from benzodiazepine (Xanax) can be even more dangerous than withdrawing from cocaine. Fear of previous anxiety symptoms resurfacing can add extra stress to the user.

The drug also affects your brains chemistry and causes your mind to need the drug to function properly. Xanax withdrawal happens when you abruptly decrease the dosage or stop taking the drug. The previously suppressed chemical imbalances will now begin to resurface.

Except now your brain expects the presence of Xanax to help regulate its systems. Your brain adapted to using Xanax and now you’re asking it to function on its own. The previous problems with anxiety are now exacerbated by your brain’s inability to fix the problem.

Withdrawal can begin within hours after you stop taking Xanax. Immediately, individuals can start to feel both emotional and physical side effects. After a few days, the symptoms can worsen in intensity.

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawl

There are several physical symptoms of Xanax withdrawal.

Here is a list of some of the symptoms you could experience during withdrawal:

  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness in fingers
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Women may have intense menstrual cramps
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Tingling in legs and or arms
  • Hypertension
  • Tightness in jaw
  • Tooth pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle spasms

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome is another way to describe these unpleasant symptoms. Everyone will have their own unique experience of quitting Xanax.

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawl

Along with physical symptoms, there are psychological symptoms too.

Here’s a list of the different withdrawal symptoms you could experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Fear
  • Sensitivity to an external stimulus (like lights and sounds)
  • Confusion
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Depression
  • Isolation from loved ones

Your personal brain chemistry can affect the withdrawal experience. A previous chemical imbalance can affect the intensity of the symptoms. If you had major anxiety problems before, the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal could be more intense for you.

Cold Turkey Detox

How you quit will affect your withdrawal from Xanax symptoms. Quitting cold turkey means you immediately stop taking Xanax. Abruptly quitting any addictive substance can cause your withdrawal symptoms to intensify.

Your body’s central nervous system can go into shock when you don’t wean off Xanax.

Your brain will exhaust itself as it tries to make up for the lack of GABA. In many cases, the symptoms will come in waves. Users may think they are finally free of withdrawal symptoms.

Yet after a short while, they find themselves facing another wave of debilitating symptoms. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after you thought you were in the clear is a form of post-acute withdrawal syndrome(PAWS).

The syndrome causes people to suffer through emotional and physical pain even though the drug is no longer in your system. If you experience PAWS, you may have the following issues:

  • Problems remembering things
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Problems paying attention
  • Low energy levels

Benzodiazepine has been a leading cause for a few fatality cases. In most of the cases, the individual isn’t passing away from an overdose of Xanax but rather from quitting abruptly.

One case involves a female user who was using high dosages of Xanax. The woman took approximately 200mg of Xanax over the course of 6 days. After she ran out, she quit taking the drug altogether.

Four days later she went to the hospital with a high temperature, hypertension, and seizures. About 15 hours after entering the hospital, the woman passed away. Sadly, she probably could’ve survived if she hadn’t tried to quit alone.

A safer way to quit Xanax is to taper off and slowly lower your dosages. Quitting without medical supervision is dangerous and can be deadly.

Slowly Quitting Xanax

The safest method for detox is to taper off using medical supervision. You might be wondering how long Xanax withdrawal lasts. The answer will vary from person to person.

Depending on how long you’ve been using Xanax, you might need extra time to detox. Having medical professionals guide the process will help protect you from life-threatening situations.

You can avoid problems with psychosis and seizures when you slowly wean off the drug. While you go through medical detox, the medical staff will look out for your safety and well-being. To help you taper off your Xanax, they will slowly lower your dosage over time.

The amount they lower your Xanax dosage to will depend on how much you were taking previously. The recovery process could take up to 8 weeks or in some cases even longer. Your physician will slowly lower the dosage more and more every week.

Your friends and family members can be a great support system while you’re withdrawing from Xanax. However, they shouldn’t be your only source of support. You should always have medical assistance to detox successfully and safely.

While family members may mean well, they could accidentally make things worse for you.

Certain family members might try to use a tough love approach while other members may hover and over-focus on your needs. The stress caused by relying on family for detox can actually end up prolonging your withdrawal symptoms.

Finding a Treatment Center

You or your loved ones don’t have to go through Xanax withdrawal alone.

Addiction treatment services can guide you to the help you need. Recovery becomes possible the moment you or a loved one acknowledges the need for treatment.

Addiction Treatment Services helps provide families with the answers they need to get treatment. Our goal is to help simplify things for you by providing you with guidance. Our team of experts work within the industry and can help you understand the different treatment processes and options.

We can also help you comprehend how insurance plays into entering a treatment program. After you feel comfortable with how the treatment works, we can begin to make referrals. Our team can recommend professional intervention services. We can also refer you to the best addiction treatment centers.

Let us guide you and your family to the best help possible. Contact us today to schedule an intervention, ask questions, or request more information.

painkiller addiction symptoms

How to Tell if Someone is Addicted to Painkillers

Studies show that nearly 40 million American adults experience acute levels of pain. That accounts for more than 17% of the country’s total population.

Are you included in that number? What about someone you love?

If so, you might know that while prescription pain medication can provide much-needed relief in many cases, many kinds can also be highly addictive. This is the case whether you’re using them to treat an actual pain disease or are looking to experience the feelings of numbness and euphoria they provide.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that around 54 million Americans have used narcotic painkillers for nonmedical reasons at least one time in their lives. In many cases, it only takes one time of using to catalyze dependency, leading down a dangerous and deadly road.

Sometimes, painkiller addiction symptoms are easy to detect. In other cases, they’re not as obvious. Today, we’re breaking down a few ways you can tell if you or someone you know needs to seek treatment for a painkiller addiction. Knowing the signs is the first step. Learning how to respond to them is the next.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

How Do Prescription Painkillers Work?

To understand why they’re so addictive, it’s helpful to learn a little about how prescription painkillers work in your body. Traditionally, when we perceive that we’re in pain, it’s because our nervous system is sending signals to our brain that we are hurt.

When someone uses painkillers, the medication blocks their nervous system from sending those signals. Instead, the drugs stimulate the portion of the brain associated with feeling pleasure. As such, not only do users feel immediate relief from physical aches and pains, but they’re often sent into a state of euphoria, as well.

In their most powerful form, prescription painkillers are called opioids. As the name implies, this class of drugs is made from compounds designed to act like opium.

Some of the most common kinds of opioid painkillers are oxycodone, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, and meperidine. These painkillers can be sold under a range of trade names. They are also available in a myriad of forms, from tablets to pills to syrups.

When one becomes overly dependent on these painkillers, an addiction can form. The symptoms can range from minor to fatal and the scale can escalate quickly. Fortunately, there is a range of treatment options, from detoxification to inpatient rehab to help addicts get back on track.

What Are Some Painkiller Addiction Symptoms?

Remember that sense of euphoria that painkillers create? This feeling can be addictive, especially for people who are chasing relief from either physical or emotional stress.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve stepped over the line and have entered into painkiller addiction territory, you may not know where to turn. Or, maybe you’re starting to see a change in someone you love and are wondering if he or she might be misusing a painkiller prescription.

Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at a few common signs that someone is fighting an addiction to pain pills.

1. Constantly Discussing Medication

It’s one thing to be concerned about taking your painkiller medication on a routine basis. Many prescriptions require that you take the pill at the same time each day to achieve the maximum effect.

Yet, do you notice that your loved one seems especially preoccupied with his or her medication? Do conversations center around how much medication they have and when their next dose should occur? Maybe you’ve found yourself obsessing over these details.

If so, this could be a sign of a painkiller addiction. Remembering to take pain-regulating medication should be only a small part of your day. The idea shouldn’t consume you, and if it does, it’s time to seek help.

2. Social Disengagement

One of the tell-tale signs that someone is addicted to painkillers is that they slowly lose interest in the things that used to be major parts of their life. Has your loved one stopped hanging in the usual social circles? Have work and social commitments fallen by the wayside?

Think of the hobbies they used to enjoy and the topics they used to talk about for hours on end. Do those same things bring them alive today, or are they going through the motions, never fully present in any conversation?

If the latter is true, it might be time to schedule an intervention. Disengagement is one of the first signs of an opioid addiction.

3. Less Alert Than Usual

It’s a scientific fact that we cannot function when don’t get enough sleep. As such, waking up tired in the morning can translate to getting a slow start to the day, having a sluggish time at work, and experiencing exhaustion by dinnertime.

Imagine feeling that way most of the time. Those who cannot stop taking prescription painkillers know that state of mind all too well. Why? One of the top painkiller addiction signs is drowsiness.

Yet, this kind of drowsiness isn’t the type you can cure by sleeping in the next day. Rather, it leads to a slew of cognitive and physical disadvantages that can leave you feeling like you’re permanently in a cloud.

One of the offshoots of this tiredness is memory loss. Does your loved one have a hard time remembering where they put their keys? Is he or she failing to show up on time for appointments or get-togethers? This might be a sign of forgetfulness associated with painkiller-induced drowsiness.

Moreover, the addict might also exhibit signs of concentration loss. If your loved one has a difficult time maintaining eye contact while you’re conversing or appears to be thinking about something else the entire time, it could be that their sense of focus is off.

4. Slowed Reflexes

Most non-addicts can whip their heads around quickly when they hear their name called from across the room. They can leap to their feet when it’s time to go somewhere. They know how to respond when there’s danger around.

However, addicts may experience slowed reflexes, meaning that it takes them longer than usual to react in certain situations.

There’s a reason prescription painkillers come with a warning that those taking them should not drive a car or operate any form of heavy machinery. When we’re slow to gauge how we should act, move, or think, it can put us in great danger.

5. Cutting Back on Personal Hygiene

Have you noticed that your loved one has let his beard go? Has she failed to comb or wash her hair in weeks? Have you been picking up on excessive body odor when you’re together? Though these aren’t always pain pill addiction symptoms, addicts often throw personal hygiene by the wayside in their attempt to search down more medication.

In short, they’re consumed by getting as much of the drug as possible, and anything that doesn’t actively support that goal comes in second. As people sink further into addiction cycles, keeping up with showering, shaving, and cleansing is often too much to handle, so those tasks are shelved for the short-term.

6. Failed Attempts to Quit

When our predetermined medication schedule is up, it’s time to throw the pill bottle away, with no refills unless deemed necessary by a medical professional. Yet, addicts can’t complete this step. They may try multiple times to quit, only to find they’re unable to follow through with even their best intentions.

If you or your loved one cannot cut down on the use of these medications, this could signal an addiction. This is also true if you’re constantly trying to score more of the medication from others, or going around your doctor’s orders. If you’ve ever tried to taper off the medication in the past only to find you’re back to your old ways by the end of the week, you could be setting yourself up for a long road toward recovery.

7. Doctor Shopping

Have you heard your loved one complain that one doctor isn’t giving them the treatment they’re looking for? Have you watched as they’ve hopped from one medical office to the next, looking for someone who will give them a higher dosage or more of the painkiller than they actually require?

If so, this practice is known as doctor shopping. In short, if a doctor won’t prescribe you any more medication out of concern, those who are doctor shopping will search until they find another one who will give you the prescription. This does more than damage your body. It could hurt your pocketbook, as well.

In some instances, there are doctors who overprescribe their pills to turn a profit. Known as “pill mills,” these professionals will often price-gauge customers, especially addicts, knowing they’ll pay any price it takes to get their hands on the drugs they need.

8. Defensiveness

No one loves talking about their addiction, especially if the person initiating the conversation is someone they love and trust. Thus, don’t be surprised if you’re met with intense denials and defensiveness the first time you bring up the issue.

Before you do so, however, listen to how defensive the person already is. Are any inquiries about pain medication quickly shot down? If you’re met with immediate pushback or irritation when you so much as gently ask how they’re feeling, consider this jumpiness and anxiety as one of the painkiller addiction signs.

It might take a little time to coax the addict into talking about the issue, but you shouldn’t have to be worried about having your head bitten off at the first mention of a problem.

9. Deception to Obtain

Even the most wholesome person could stoop to stealing if an opioid addiction becomes strong enough. When doctor shopping runs its course, an addict often has no other choice but to seek access to the drug by other means.

This might mean stealing or using someone else’s prescription medication in its place. In some cases, it might also mean switching from traditional painkillers to harder drugs, including heroin. If you find that the person is acting jumpy, anxious or otherwise uncomfortable in public, it might be that this ongoing path of dishonesty is taking its toll.

10. Taking a Higher Dosage

The more we take a medication, the more our bodies get used to it. As such, we’re forced to take more to continue feeling the same way we did at first.

If you’re reaching for a higher dose of painkiller medication every time you can, you’ve likely reached a point where your original prescription isn’t working anymore. Your body has grown accustomed to having those chemicals and has adapted accordingly. That’s why it might take four pills when it once took two to curb the pain.

Though it’s natural to develop an intolerance to certain medications, if your loved one is constantly upping their prescription, it’s time to give it a second look.

Kicking Your Painkiller Addiction Today

Though it may start out innocently enough, misusing prescription painkillers can wreak havoc on your physical capabilities, mental wellbeing, and financial security.

If you’re struggling with these painkiller addiction symptoms or know someone who is, you know that this can be a confusing and overwhelming time. It’s difficult to discern who to trust and where to turn in these situations.

That’s where we come in.

Our team of experts will listen to your concerns and help you develop a proactive plan of treatment. Then, we’ll put you in touch with treatment and intervention service providers that can give you the help you need. The best part? We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure we match you with providers that are within your insurance coverage.

Overcoming painkiller addiction can be a long road. Yet, it’s one that no one has to walk alone. Contact us today and let’s take the first step toward recovery together.