When someone is addicted to prescription drugs they usually show signs or symptoms of their addictions. We believe these signs can be broken down into three categories. This article will focus on signs of opiate use, however, many of these clues can also be used for other types of prescription drugs.
The three categories we feel are the most obvious signs of opiate use are physical signs, social signs and financial signs. If you suspect a friend, family member or coworker is addicted to prescription drugs continue reading this articles to learn about some of the most typical traits of prescription pill abuse.
Physical Signs of Opiate Use
Some of the most obvious signs of opiate use are physical in nature. Physical clues are usually some of the first evidence we see when suspecting someone has an addictions to opiates or other prescription medicines. Many physical signs are easy to spot such as; “track marks” which is a term made popular by heroine addicts who use needles to inject drugs. Only a small fraction of prescription drug users inject medicine with a needle and most physical signs are not as easily detected.
One of the most popular ways people abuse pain pills is by crushing and snorting the pills. Often when someone abuses pain pills in this manner they will constantly be “sniffling” their nose which gives them a draining sensation of the drug. Another physical sign of opiate use when an addict snorts the pills will be drug residue on or in the nose of the addict. This will often appear as white powder or paste which is fairly solid evidence of someone snorting pain pills. Residue can also be found on tables, rolled up dollar bills, straws etc.
More subtle physical signs of opiate use are dilated pupils, nodding of the head and slurred speech. In some cases the pupils become so small they almost disappear giving the addict the appearance of clear or glassy eyes. People who abuse opiates can also nod off frequently. The eyes will appear heavy and slowly open and close as they fight off the feeling of drowsiness. This physical sign of opiate use will also usually be accompanied by slurred speech and irritable behavior.
Social Signs of Opiate Use
A person who suffers from prescription drug abuse will exhibit many social signs or social changes. Some of the most frequent social signs of opiate use are loss of interest in hobbies and work responsibilities. Addicts will also distances themselves from family and friends who don’t abuse drugs.
They will lower their standards of the friends they choose and often times will associate with people of a lower social, economic and moral background than they did before they started using drugs. You may notice a decline in hygiene practices and the addicts overall appearance will usually deteriorate. This transformation will often be both an outwardly and inwardly negative change in the person who is addicted to opiates.
Not only will you notice their outward appearance decline, you will also notice an inward decline in morals and values. Drugs will slowly take over the addicts life. They will value the pills more than family and friends which will cause a great strain on the addicts social life and relationships.
Financial Signs of Opiate Use
The more drugs a person consumes, the more they need. A habit which started with only a couple pills a day will quickly spin out of control. As their tolerance increases they have to buy more and more prescription drugs to feel the same effects they felt when they first became addicted. At some point the financial signs of opiate use will become obvious because the addiction will require a greater amount of money to satisfy the addicts cravings.
When a person is abusing prescription pills they will usually fall behind on their bills, began to sell or pawn personal property, and possibly turn to stealing money from loved ones to support their habit. You may find them asking to borrow money and lying about why they need it.
Even addicts with a steady job and income will eventually show financial signs of opiate use because they will leverage their paycheck to buy drugs. They may have a drug dealer “front” them some pills until payday. This seems like a good deal to the addict at first, however, they will quickly find themselves fronting more and more pills until they reach the point of their paycheck going to the dealer instead of their family.