Due to the stigma often associated with medication, painkiller addiction can be hidden in plain sight, making it difficult to diagnose or identify. The person using the painkillers may not realize how far their addiction has progressed. Family or friends may be unaware of painkiller addiction signs that can plague the user’s life.
Understanding and recognizing the signs of painkiller addiction is the first step in getting treatment. If you believe that a family member or friend has an addiction, you may want to consult a specialist at an addiction treatment center in Illinois. With professional help, a person can recover from substance abuse and move beyond the vicious cycle of addiction with help from Northern Illinois Recovery Center.
What Are the Painkiller Addiction Signs?
The symptoms of painkiller addiction vary depending on several factors such as the severity of the addiction, length of the condition, the number of painkillers used, and if they were used in combination with other substances. Some of the most common painkiller addiction signs include:
- Behavioral Symptoms: Visiting multiple doctors to obtain painkillers, stealing money or pills to maintain the addiction, downplaying the severity of the addiction, social isolation, and neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school.
- Physical Symptoms: Seizures, respiratory depression, increased risk of heart attack, flushed or itchy skin, slurred speech, sedation, nausea, and vomiting.
- Psychological Symptoms: Psychosis, severe mood swings, anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
In worst-case scenarios, an overdose can lead to respiratory depression, organ failure, stroke, coma, or fatality. Long-term effects can also include heart problems, digestive problems, or terminal illnesses.
How Painkiller Addiction Develops
One of the reasons why the symptoms of painkiller addiction are hard to identify is that they develop over a long period. A person can be addicted to painkillers for several years before anyone notices. The addiction typically begins with a single prescription for pain. A doctor may prescribe codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, or oxycodone for temporary or chronic pain.
A person may enjoy the effects of the painkiller, which usually include pain reduction and euphoria. If they continue to use the medication, their body builds up a tolerance. They will no longer feel the effects. As a result, they attempt to increase the dosage through their doctor or by other means. This leads to an addiction, which ultimately manifests in a full-blown dependency.
The user may try to quit using the drug but experiences withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Therefore, they relapse time and again. A combination of obsession, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness continues to fuel the addiction. Eventually, the user needs to get help at a drug addiction rehab center.
What Are the Side Effects of Painkiller Addiction?
If a painkiller addiction continues to get worse, it can affect every area of a person’s life. For instance, they may isolate themselves from friends, family, and coworkers. This has a devastating impact on job performance, social life, and relationships at home. A person who is obsessed with pain medication may spend every dollar they have trying to get more. This can hurt their financial situation and put a strain on their household.
Painkiller addiction can also lead to reckless behavior that can cause a person to get into legal trouble, including:
- Getting pulled over for DUI
- Being arrested for illegal drug possession
- Repossession of assets
- Being arrested for harm done to others
For some users, they have to lose virtually everything and hit rock bottom before they check into a treatment center.
Learn More About the Painkiller Addiction Signs at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
If you believe that you or a loved one are addicted to medication and need to know more about painkiller addiction signs, contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center. We provide an array of substance abuse treatment programs for all types of addictions. Call Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to find out more about your treatment options.