You may struggle with chronic back pain or a pain issue that never went away after an accident or surgery. When your doctor prescribed you OxyContin or Percocet or hydrocodone, you both thought it would be for the short term. But now, months have passed and you find that you are taking more and more of the drug, not less. You know you’re physically dependent on the pills – you have built a tolerance and take a higher dose than when you started plus you don’t feel well if you’re late taking a dose or run out of the medication – but are you addicted to your pain meds?
Signs of Pain Med Addiction
In addition to physical dependence, psychological dependence must also be in evidence if you are to be diagnosed with a painkiller addiction. You may experience:
- Cravings for your medication
- Obsession over when it’s time to take more
- A preoccupation with making sure you always have enough of the drug on hand
- Secretive nature when it comes to telling others how many pills you take or how often
Additionally, there are a number of signs that pain medication abuse is a problem. Even if you haven’t developed an addiction, you may be abusing your painkillers if you:
- Crush the pills before snorting or injecting them
- Use other substances with them (including alcohol) in order to enhance their effect
- Lie to your doctor about the level of pain you are experiencing in order to get a higher dose
- Report that you have “lost” your prescription to get an emergency prescription
- Go to the ER and claim pain symptoms in order to get an extra prescription
- Go to more than one doctor in order to get a duplicate ongoing prescription for painkillers
Does Your Life Revolve Around Your Medication?
If you feel like your mood, your activities, your relationships – everything in your life is contingent upon how your pills make you feel, then you are living with an active addiction. It doesn’t matter whether your first pill was given to you by a friend or if you have a legitimate prescription from a doctor. Neither situation is more or less safe. When you continue to abuse painkillers or live with an active addiction, it can quickly turn deadly. In fact, in most states, more people die due to prescription overdose than in car accidents.
Prescription drug abuse or addiction is not something to take lightly. Contact us at The Orchid to learn more about our woman-focused, comprehensive drug addiction treatment programs and find out how we can help you get your life back.