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Painkiller Addiction Signs and Symptoms

A young female professional walks down a city street. She has her hand on her forehead and a concerned look on her face.
Prescription painkiller use can easily morph into abuse, leaving you in a place you never thought possible.

With some drugs, addiction can be fairly easy to detect. If you’re shooting up twice a day, for example, the writing is on the wall. If you drink before going to work every day, that’s a pretty clear sign as well. But when it comes to painkillers, the line can be quite blurred.

Because they are legal and medically useful, it can be easy to miss—or rationalize away—painkiller addiction signs.

Are You Still Taking Painkillers as Prescribed?

One of the biggest painkiller addiction symptoms is taking your medication in ways other than it was prescribed. Do you skip some doses so that you can take more later? That’s a huge red flag that you’re using the pills for more than pain relief.

Getting Pills from Sources Other than Your Doctor

This is another warning sign. You’ve definitely crossed a line if you’re asking friends for extra pills, constantly trying to convince your doctor to up your dosage or buying pills on the street or the internet.

Changes in Personality and Appearance

Just like heroin, painkillers are opiates, so it’s no surprise that they can have powerful effects. One of the most noticeable painkiller addiction symptoms is a change in behavior. Are you defensive about your use of painkillers? Have you lost interest in work or hobbies? Are you not taking care of yourself? Are you angrier or moodier than usual? Or, maybe, you just don’t feel quite like yourself, but can’t pinpoint exactly why.

Painkiller Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Painkiller addiction withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, muscle aches, nausea, insomnia, increased heart rate and profuse sweating. But here is where things get tricky, a person can be physically dependent on painkillers without being truly addicted.

And if that’s the case, they will still suffer physical withdrawal symptoms, even though they are not addicted.

The bottom line? Physical withdrawal symptoms in and of themselves are not a sign of addiction, but they can be troubling if paired with other symptoms such as taking pills not as prescribed or trying to get more pills than prescribed.

We Want to Help You with Painkiller Addiction

At The Raleigh House, we understand how easily a painkiller prescription can morph into an addiction that changes your life. What you can’t forget is that addiction is a disease. And, at a certain point, you are powerless over it and need help to conquer it.

Our master’s level trained therapists have met—and helped—people just like you. There is hope around the corner. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the painkiller treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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