You don’t know what hit you before you’re too far gone.
Prescription drugs abuse and misuse are defined as the unintentional or intentional use of medication without a doctor’s prescription for wanting the feeling or experience it generates. According to data posted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there has been a significant rise in prescription drugs abuse, which leads to the increasing number of emergency cases mainly caused by drug overdose.
Furthermore, one in every five Americans has abused or misused prescription medicine at least once in their lives, but only one out of three will recognize the manifestations of the seething problem, which is extremely dangerous. Know more about the implicit and insidious signs to know if you have a pill problem.
Intolerable Mood Changes
Experiencing irritability and depression due to controlled access to medications are some of the signs you have to watch out for. “Depending on the substance being abused, you may begin to notice marked hyperactivity or extreme happiness followed by a “crash” where the mood becomes just the opposite,” says Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP. In the midst of struggling for more drugs, you are finding yourself not just yearning for the sake of physical relief but acquiring emotional stability as well. Your reasoning is now attuned to the idea that you are getting more than relief from pain, thereby significantly altering the way you perceive pain medications.
At this stage, you become so eager and excited for the next dose, finding yourself anticipating and counting down the minutes and hours until you take your pill. Your mind starts to fantasize about the euphoric feeling once you take your meds.
The trouble with people is that we can easily see what’s wrong with others but are quick to turn down observations given to us. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist.” When people are oblivious to medication abuse, it becomes a breeding ground for addiction. The National Institute of Health has reported that Americans who are 12 years and older have abused prescription drugs which accounts for approximately 54 million of the entire population. However, not everyone seems to efficiently identify the manifestations of getting sucked into medication addiction even if the signs are quite distinct. Therefore, denial plays a massive role in the constant misuse of drugs. After all, how else are you supposed to accept something that you think does not exist?
Increased Tolerance Level
A person who still suffers from pain regardless of taking the maximum, medically-acceptable dose, is said to have reached his or her peak tolerance level; thus, causing the rise to a certain degree of obsession. One of the primary signs that a person is extending its dangerous tolerance level is when he or she has already depleted the pills even before the expected time of refill. Once you’ve peaked, you will feel giddy and anxious whether you will still be given more pills and are enraged by your doctor’s unwillingness to prescribe more than the acceptable dosage.
It is especially advised that teens be put under observation because they easily can gain access to leftover pills of their parents or grandparents and will go to great lengths just to suffice their addiction needs.
Because your physician refused to increase the number of pills or rejected your request to get an early refill, considering you’ve stretched to the maximum dosage, you will resort to “doctor-hopping.” Doctor-hopping or hospital-hopping involves visiting other doctors or emergency room hospitals with different make-believe complaints involving pain to obtain a sufficient amount of pills that your body demands just to feel satiated.
Addiction can happen to anyone – whether you’re someone with a history of mental disorder or have gone through severe physical injury leading to chronic pain. According to Steve Bressert, Ph.D., “Abuse of alcohol or a substance (such as cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, etc.) is generally characterized by a maladaptive pattern of alcohol or substance use leading to significant impairment or distress.” Check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you notice that you have one or more signs stated above, it is best to talk to someone about your medication abuse before things get out of hand.