Key Warning Signs of Prescription Painkiller Dependency; Drug Awareness Campaign Outlines the Risks of Opiate Dependency.
The Waismann Institute today released “Key Warning Signs of Prescription Painkiller Dependency,” the first installment in a four-part educational series designed to commemorate Drug Awareness Month. Because a dependency to painkillers can often go unnoticed, it is important to recognize signs that indicate a problem in you or a loved one, according to Dr. Clifford A. Bernstein a specialist in chronic pain management and opiate dependency.
“After taking a routine dose of prescribed medication for pain, some people develop a chemical dependency without even knowing it is happening,” said Bernstein. “Unfortunately, as soon as they realize they cannot stop taking the drug, they may be too ashamed to tell their physician, or are afraid that their medication will be discontinued, so they do not seek the help they need.”
The first step to helping you or someone you love navigates the perils of painkiller dependency is identifying and admitting a problem. After a dependency is realized, treatment can and should be sought, according to Bernstein.
Key warning signs od Prescription Painkiller Dependency, that should not be overlooked:
1. Usage Increase – Over time, it is common for individuals taking prescription medications to grow tolerant to the effects of their prescribed dose. Increased dosage often indicates that the original amount is no longer providing relief.
2. Change in Personality – Changes in a person’s normal behavior can be a sign of dependency. Shifts in energy, mood, and concentration may occur as everyday responsibilities become secondary to the need for the relief the prescription provides.
3. Social Withdrawal – A person experiencing a dependency problem may withdraw from family, friends, and other social interaction.
4. Ongoing Use – Patients that frequently complain about “still feeling pain” or request to extend a prescription long after the medical condition has improved should be monitored closely. Those who gripe about doctors refusing to write prescription show signs of dependency.
5. Going to Great Lengths to Obtain Prescriptions – A dependent person may spend significant amounts of time driving great distances and visiting multiple doctors to obtain drugs. Preoccupation with a quest for medication demonstrates that the drug has become a top priority.
6. Change in Appearance – Personal hygiene may diminish as a result of a drug addiction. Significant weight loss may occur, and glazed eyes may be evident.
7. Desensitized Emotions – A dependent person may exhibit an attitude of indifference, a lack of emotion, and demonstrate disinterest in things that previously pleased them.
8. Increased Inactivity – Hobbies and activities no longer provide the enjoyment they used to. Those suffering from dependency may feel lethargic and tend to stop engaging in athletic activities.
9. Blackouts and Forgetfulness – Another clear indication of dependence is when the person regularly forgets events that have taken place and appears to be suffering frequent blackouts.
10. Defensiveness – Abusers who attempt to hide a drug dependency may lash out and become very defensive if they feel their secret is being discovered.
For more information on opiate dependence treatment, please call today 310-205-0808