If you suspect that a loved one is misusing prescription pain medication, read on.

Over the years, there has been a drastic increase in people that use prescription painkillers for non-medical uses, often having started with a legitimate prescription for the opioid.

Prescription painkillers are used to treat pain and are often prescribed for people who have undergone surgery, had dental work, experienced a sports injury, or suffer from chronic illnesses such back pain or arthritis.

A comprehensive list of prescribed opioid medications can be found here.

Over time, the user develops tolerance and dependence, which leads to greater use and addiction. Studies have shown that four out of every five heroin users today started by misusing prescription painkillers.

In fact, the rise of heroin is in large part due to the far more expensive and difficult access to illegal painkillers making heroin an inexpensive option for addicted individuals to continue using opioids.

Here are some of the telltale signs that may signal your loved one’s misuse of opioids:

  • Reduced social interaction
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor memory or concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slow movement and reactions
  • Mood swings
  • Apathy
  • Depression

Through education, you’ve taken the first step in aiding your loved one. Kudos to you. Now, it’s time to help your loved one; find out how here.

We’re here for you every step of the way.