If you’re concerned that a friend or loved one is abusing Painkillers because of their recent behaviors, you may be on to something. Below you will find some of the more common abuse symptoms of people using Prescription Drugs and Painkillers specifically. Whether they got the Painkillers for a legitimate medical condition or purchased them illegally off the street, abusing drugs is common and cause a higher risk of dependence and addiction.

Currently in the United States, Painkillers are the second most popular drug to be abused, second to Marijuana. The Prescription Drug problem is the fastest rising drug abuse problem in the country, partly due to the high level of availability. Aside from Medical Marijuana, Painkillers and other Prescription Drugs are the only drugs that can be obtained legally, but then abused as recreational drugs. This makes them highly dangerous for people of all ages. Some people obtain their Painkillers from prescriptions for chronic pain and go on to abuse the drugs by using them more than prescribed while others will fake medical conditions in order to get the drugs they want. Either way, abuse is dangerous as it leads to addiction and the many associated health complications.

Commonly Abused Painkillers

In the United States, many different Painkillers are subscribed for legitimate conditions ranging from restless leg syndrome to chronic back pain. The most commonly abused Painkillers are OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet though there are many others available. Under the Codeine classification, people might abuse Robitussin A-C, Tylenol with Codeine or Empirin with Codeine. These are especially dangerous because they are sold over-the-counter at most drug stores meaning people of all ages can purchase them. The Hydrocodone category of Painkillers include Vicodin, Lortab and Lorcet. Morphine is harder to obtain, but it has a higher risk of dependence and addiction. Brand names of Morphine include Duramorph and Roxanol. Another highly common Painkiller to be abused is OxyContin, which is an Oxycodone; a synthetic Painkiller. Other brand names of Oxycodone are Percodan and Percocet. The last time of synthetic Painkiller abused is in the Fentanyl category including brand names such as Duragesic and Actiq.

Painkiller Abuse Symptoms

Painkiller Addiction Symptoms

Painkillers aren’t dangerous on their own, but when they get abused they can cause a wide variety of symptoms as well as adverse health conditions and complications. If you think someone you know might be abusing Painkillers, there are some things to look for.

The first signs of abuse are behavioral and psychological changes. They may begin acting differently, being more secretive and hiding pill bottles from others, being isolated and wanting to be left alone. Next, you may notice an increase in mood swings and irritability, or even violent outbursts on occasion. The mood swings are more common in someone who is crossed the threshold over to addiction, but it is also typical of some people abusing Painkillers. Depression and anxiety disorders may also be seen by someone abusing Painkillers, especially when they are in between doses or have run out.

Physical Painkiller Abuse Symptoms

  • Digestive problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irregular respiration
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • High blood rate and blood pressure

Behavioral changes are also very common of someone abuse Painkillers. This includes someone constantly trying to get more pills even when they run out, becoming angry or violent if their doctor denies them a new prescription, taking more of the pills than prescribed and gradually needing more to get the same effects, having poor decision making, poor concentration, lack of logical thinking, getting into legal or financial trouble and constantly asking for money. Someone who suddenly does poorly at work or school is also showing signs of drug abuse.

Painkiller Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

It can sometimes be difficult noticing symptoms of Painkiller abuse until they quit using Painkillers or are unable to get more whether from a denial from their doctor or the pharmacy or because they run out of money. Withdrawal will start about 24 hours after they stop taking pills and many different symptoms are associated with this period of time. Common withdrawal symptoms from Prescription Drugs like Painkillers include hot and cold flashes, sweating and flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness, muscle pain and spasms, restlessness, involuntary leg movements, seizures and more serious complications including cardiac arrest or coma.

Getting treatment for substance abuse from Painkillers is vital for anyone not using drugs as recommended. If you or someone you know is showing any of these signs, it is important than you seek help immediately from a reputable drug abuse treatment center.