Prescription drugs – much like anything else – can be lifesaving when used as intended but can often turn into an addiction. No one should have to suffer from extended pain or other debilitating conditions. When over-the-counter drugs won’t cut it, such as when recovering from surgery or a serious accident, prescription meds can offer real comfort and relief. Anxiety drugs, as well, can also help certain people live more normal, joyful lives without experiencing debilitating symptoms. These drugs, however, are highly addictive and should be taken with a strong dose of caution, oversight, and care. When a pill habit becomes addictive, these life saving medicines can be devastating. Not sure if your loved one’s use has become problematic? Read on for signs and symptoms of pill addiction and where to begin when seeking treatment.
Physical Symptoms of Pill Addiction
Pill addiction can alter a person’s body, face, skin, and other features. If you or someone you care about exhibits physical symptoms of pill addiction, seeking treatment is wise.
Eyes: Changes in the eyes occur when people are hooked on prescription medications, especially when they are intoxicated. The whites of the eyes become bloodshot, and the pupils become dilated or constricted. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s pill use, this is a good starting point as it can be difficult to conceal or explain away.
Weight fluctuations: If you see a significant change in your loved one’s weight, including sudden gains or losses, it may be cause for concern. Addiction to prescription pills can lead to malnutrition and sometimes, excessive weight gain.
Shifting sleep patterns: Oversleeping or undersleeping are also warning signs of pill addiction. People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs tend to stay up late or for days at a time, then crash for long periods of time.
Poor hygiene: When in the throes of pill addiction, the next high becomes paramount. Unfortunately, this often means that other important things take a back seat—including personal care. If your loved one appears unkempt or has an unusual body odor, it may signal something is amiss.
Pill Addiction Behavioral Symptoms and Signs
Many people can successfully conceal their physical symptoms of pill addiction for years at a time. Keeping an eye out for behavioral and emotional symptoms can offer vital insight.
Mood swings: While almost everyone has mood swings now and then, in some cases they can indicate a bigger issue. It’s perfectly normal to feel irritable now and then, but big swings in mood should be taken seriously if they become a regular occurrence or even a default mood. Increased hostility, frequently starting fights, or worsening depression or anxiety are other mood disorders to be aware of.
Lack of motivation and lethargy: With pill addiction, it’s normal to see shifts in priorities or hobbies in favor of isolation. Motivation and interest in work, school, and other commitments often diminish.
Extreme personality shifts: If your loved one becomes involved in dishonest behavior (like suddenly stealing), posts concerning messages on social media, has financial problems, or has a new circle of pals that you have never met or heard of before, it may indicate a serious issue.
Treatment for Pill Addiction
When treating any addiction, detoxing is a vital first step. While detox can sometimes be safely done at home, withdrawal from certain medications, like benzodiazepines such as Valium, can be lethal and should be medically supervised, where possible.
However, recovery isn’t usually accomplished by detox alone. For lasting change, most people benefit from comprehensive treatment and ongoing support.
Scottsdale Providence provides individualized treatment designed to address issues including drug and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders. Our goal is for every client to experience a profound change through cutting-edge, evidence-based practices provided by an experienced, compassionate team, in a safe, luxurious Scottsdale environment. We know that true change is possible and sustainable.
We offer PHP, IOP and Evening IOP. Our therapists work with you to identify your goals and develop a program that fits you. Our comprehensive addiction treatment program includes individual and group therapy, psychiatric care and 12-Step Facilitation. The clinical foundation of our program is in Interactive Journaling, an innovative experiential modality that puts the client at the center of their change process. Our expert treatment team blends CBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Neurofeedback and Occupational Therapy to promote long term recovery. Psychiatric care, case management, discharge planning, acupuncture, yoga and fitness all make up a truly comprehensive treatment experience.
Get in touch to learn more.