Painkillers Addiction Signs & Symptoms To Pay Attention

Last Updated: March 24, 2024

Roger Weiss Authored by Roger Weiss, MD
David Levin Reviewed by David Levin
0 sources cited

Like with any drug, recognizing painkiller addiction symptoms is vital to getting on the way to recovery. This article will help to distinguish the physical and psychological symptoms of painkiller abuse, while allowing patients to gain a better understanding of the potential behavioral deviations abusing painkillers may cause.

General Painkiller Addiction Signs

Painkiller addiction often catches people unaware. Many users aren’t aware that painkillers can become addictive and therefore, do not notice their reliance on the drug. This makes it all the more important to keep an eye out for the signs of painkiller addiction.

The main painkiller addiction signs consist of:

  • Headaches
  • Temperature Changes
  • Nausea
  • Defensiveness
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Changes To Habits

Psychological Pain Pill Abuse Symptoms

Painkiller abuse can lead to a range of adverse effects. Some of these effects are psychological. Psychological effects of painkiller addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Memory Issues
  • Slowed Reactions
  • Lack Of Concentration

Psychological Pain Pill Abuse Symptoms

Combatting the psychological symptoms of drug abuse is as important as battling the physical symptoms. Psychological issues can drive rifts between families as well as cause the individual addict issues. Moreover, adolescents are more vulnerable to the risks of a psychological dependence on any prescription pain medication, especially those who already have problems with alcohol or mental health issues. The study of the Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse and Dependence among Adolescents showed that one-third of adolescents, that overused pain medications, which were not prescribed to them, reported the presence of DSM-IV symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Analgesics Consumption

Psychological issues are not the only problem when it comes to painkiller abuse. These drugs can also create physical symptoms, which can be as problematic and dangerous. The symptoms of addiction to painkillers include:

  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Cardiovascular Problems
  • Liver/Kidney Disease
  • Lowered Immunity
  • Constipation
  • Nausea And Vomiting
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Slurred Speech
  • Itchy Skin

Physical Symptoms of Analgesics Consumption

Behavioral Deviations of the Painkillers Addict

Due to the behavioral deviation, recognizing a painkiller addict is simple if to know what to look for. It is important to recognize behavioral deviation as it can help to addict considerably if seen early. It can also help to alleviate tension between the user and their family and friends.

Behavioral deviation symptoms of painkiller addiction include:

  • Social Isolation – Addicts may tend to spend more time alone than usual. This can be because when they are on the drug or withdrawing from it, their mood can be difficult to control.
  • Financial Issues – Due to the craving for more of the drug, addicts may spend more than they have available and get into financial difficulty.
  • Joblessness – Reliance on the drug can mean jobs and relationships often go neglected. This then means holding on to a stable position is a challenge for the addict.
  • Weakened Interpersonal Relationships – Mood swings and drug reliance can make interpersonal interaction challenging for an addict. Especially if those around them are unaware and therefore less understanding.
  • Sudden Tendency To Commit Crime – When on painkillers, inhibitions are lowered, and therefore the consequences of actions are often not adequately thought through.
  • Suicidal Thoughts – Low moods and depression can cause an addict to become self-loathing and want to escape from their addiction. This is very important to be wary and watchful of.
  • Increased Usage Of The Drug – Addiction causes an addict to go back to painkiller for more of the same feeling and to maintain their high.
  • Mood Swings – Painkiller abuse triggers unusual mood changes that the addict will find challenging to manage and hide.
  • Habitual Changes – Previous hobbies and habits of the addict may be neglected. In contrast, they may seek out more painkillers or spend time alone habitually.
  • Neglected Responsibilities – Painkillers tend to rid the user of their inhibitions. This then means that they don’t pay as much attention as they should to important things they have to do. This may be because of mood changes, depression or simply forgetfulness.

Behavioral Deviations of the Painkillers Addict

Doctors that prescribe pain meds in the U.S. can be held legally liable if they are keen on inappropriate prescribing of painkillers. The laws for legal opioid painkillers vary by states. In some states, like Florida, the doctors should pass the courses on prescribing opioids. They also should check the database before prescribing any to be sure that the patient does not already receive a prescription for opioid pain meds from other doctors.

The Importance Of Spotting The Signs

Painkillers may be prescribed as a treatment, but like any drug, they can be addictive and should be treated with care. Spotting the signs of painkiller addiction is the first step to getting back on track. Physical, psychological, and behavioral deviations all make spotting a painkiller addict possible, so it is important to keep an eye on friends and family who may be suffering. If any symptoms of addiction to painkillers are noticed, it’s essential to find suitable treatment options as soon as possible. There are many professional rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. that help to overcome the addiction to pain meds and start a healthy life.

Page Sources

  1. Painkillers fuel growth in drug addiction. Harvard Mental Health Letter. 2011.
  2. Sarah A. Woller, Georgina L. Moreno, Nigel Hart, Paul J. Wellman, James W. Grau, Michelle A. Hook. Analgesia or Addiction?: Implications for Morphine Use after Spinal Cord Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2012. 1650–1662.
  3. Li-Tzy Wu, Christopher L. Ringwalt, Paolo Mannelli, Ashwin A. Patkar. Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse and Dependence among Adolescents: A Nationally Representative Study. 2009.
  4. What new opioid laws mean for pain relief. Harvard Medical School Health Letter. 2018.

Published on: June 12th, 2017

Updated on: March 24th, 2024


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