5 Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
Overdose deaths are still on the rise.
The abuse of pharmaceuticals agents continues to grow in the population, with youth and seniors being the most at-risk for forming dependence.
If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing medications it can be hard to tell. There’s no alcoholic breath or misplaced syringe caps to look for after all.
Fortunately, there are ways to tell. We’ve compiled the five top signs of prescription drug abuse to help you spot those who might be at risk.
1. It’s In the Eyes
While different classes of drugs do different things, one of the biggest physical tells that a person is misusing prescription pills is in the eyes.
Stimulants, such as Adderall, will cause the pupils to dilate. Meanwhile, opioid painkillers will cause constriction of the pupils.
Xanax, Valium, and other benzodiazepines may not be quite as visible in the eyes but on a high dose, the eyes will often appear glassy or glazed over.
2. Erratic Behavior Patterns
Does your loved one seem to be all over the map lately? Mood swings are one of the tell-tale indicators of drug abuse of any kind.
People will often be irritable when they’re not intoxicated and perhaps overly-friendly when they are.
This can only really be judged in comparison to past behavior. If your extroverted, polite friend is suddenly sullen and withdrawn then something may be going on. If it continues for an extended period then it’s a likely sign of drug abuse if combined with any other tells.
Even if your loved one had previous mental health issues and try to explain things away using them, dual-diagnosis patients are common. You can go here for more info on dual-diagnosis treatment.
3. They Look Unhealthy
If someone suddenly begins to lose weight, their skin gets worse, and they stop taking care of themselves as well as they used to it can point to drug abuse.
Often addicts fluctuate between needing their drugs and getting them. In the former case, drug-seeking behavior dominates healthy behavioral patterns. In the latter, they’re usually too intoxicated to bother.
4. Repeated Legal Trouble
Drugs of abuse both destroy inhibitions and can cause out-of-character behavior. Often this means fighting or stealing, both of which can bring a person into contact with the law.
If your loved one finds themselves needing to be bailed out regularly for behavior that seems downright bizarre from what you know of them there’s probably a chemical cause of the problem somewhere.
Trouble at work that comes suddenly is also another thing to keep an eye out for.
5. Missing Prescriptions
Pill addicts will frequently rifle through other people’s medicine cabinets. The half-forgotten about bottle of Vicodin that you never finished might suddenly be misplaced.
In other cases, the behavior will be more obvious, but missing pills are a sure sign that someone around you is abusing them.
Look for Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse
If you think your loved one is showing signs of prescription drug abuse you may want to seek help at the earliest opportunity.
It may be best to talk to them about it first if you’re not one hundred percent certain. Still, a little bit of a misunderstanding is better than letting a real problem go unchecked long into the future.
In the event of the worst, check out our article on how to be there for them to help them come back to reality.