How to Identify a Pain Pill Addiction

June 9th, 2021

One may think it would be relatively easy to identify when a loved one or friend is battling an addiction, but it can often be much harder than one might think. Perhaps you have a hunch or have even picked up on a few red flags. People who are addicted to opioids may still hold down jobs and other responsibilities, maintaining the appearance of stability at work and home. Often times, an addict has worked incredibly hard to disguise their addiction from anyone and everyone. Sometimes, it is not until the addiction has completely taken over the addicts life to the point where they are no longer able to hide it, or even care to hide it, that one discovers the addiction.

Pain pill addiction is something that affects so many people all over the world. Studies suggest that up to one-third of people who take opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and more than 10 percent become addicted over time. It can also be the case where your loved one is using opioids without a prescription and using opioids illegally actually increases the risk of drug-related death. Additionally, drugs that pass hands illegally, such as fentanyl, can even be laced with life-threatening contaminants or much more powerful opioids. And people who use opioids illegally often turn to heroin, a cheap replacement with similar effects.

There are some common symptoms or signs that someone is battling a pain pill addiction. These include:

  • Mood changes such as anxiety and depression
  • Odd sleeping schedules
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Regularly taking an opioid in a way not intended by the doctor who prescribed it, including taking more than the prescribed dose or taking the drug for the way it makes a person feel
  • Borrowing medication from other people or "losing" medications so that more prescriptions must be written
  • Getting multiple prescriptions for pain pills even though it’s no longer needed
  • Poor decision-making, including putting himself or herself and others in danger

It is also possible that you may have witnessed a loved one going through withdrawl from their bodies addiction to pain pills before they potentially fell back into taking more. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Heightened pain sensitivity
  • Constipation

By knowing what the pain pill addiction symptoms are, you can be in a position to help yourself or a loved one to overcome an addiction to opioids. It's common, and entirely human, to avoid addressing your concerns for fear your relationship or family will fall apart. You may convince yourself that you'd know it was time for action if your loved one's addiction was truly serious. Even doctors may overlook common signs of opioid abuse, assessing the people they treat through the lens of "knowing them" versus an objective assessment of opioid-related problems.

If these symptoms are present, it is most definitely a sign that the individual needs professional assistance in order to break the cycle of addiction and get clean. Of course, there is only help to be given though where help is wanted. All you can do is be there for your loved one by calling out the addiction that has become clear to you and presenting them some options for help if they want them.

If you or someone you know is struggling with pain pill addiction, reach out to the Windmill Wellness Ranch team today. Our admissions team can help you along the process of figuring out what options are available and even assist in the steps needed to get your loved one on the path to recovery.