You received a medical procedure or experienced an injury or illness, and your doctor prescribed you pain medication. If you’re still taking pills after a week, contact your doctor about the safest way to get off of them. Research shows the longer they’re taken, the greater risk for addiction.

You may be forming a dependency on pain medication if you’re experiencing these signs:

  1. You’re taking pain medication for longer than what was recommended by your doctor.
  2. You’re seeking out more medication by seeing other doctors and alternate routes.
  3. You’ve neglected important obligations for the medication, like skipping school or work.
  4. You’re experiencing memory problems, having trouble focusing and feel abnormally tired.
  5. You’re apprehensive to ask a friend or family member track your pain medication intake, making sure you’re adhering to the recommended dosing.
  6. You’re a current or former smoker or alcoholic.
  7. You have depression, anxiety or a mental disorder.

While doctors agree that you should not experience severe pain after surgery or from a serious medical condition like cancer, a plan must be followed to wean off prescription pain medication.

“It’s silly to say opioids are evil. Pain needs to be treated,” addiction psychiatrist Dr. Laurence Westreich, an associate professor at New York University, told CBS News, “but thoughtful prescribing, patient education, and alternative pain control methods are key to reducing the risk.”

If you think you may be at risk, consult your doctor or a New Season specialist at 1-877-284-7074.