Signs and symptoms of prescription pain reliever dependency

Signs & Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Dependency

Prescription pain relievers are strong narcotic drugs, prescribed by doctors’ to patients who are struggling with chronic pain disorder. The pain relievers offer relief by blocking the painful senses to the brain and creates a euphoric sensation.

Long term usage of prescription pain relievers can lead to drug dependency. The body gets addicted to the drugs and if someone tries to stop taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms begin to affect their lifestyle. A long term use of prescription drugs can also increase the tolerance to the drug. This means an individual would have to take a higher dosage of the same drug to relieve pain.
One of the most powerful pain relievers is opioids. They offer a euphoric sense similar to that of heroin. The most commonly abused pain relievers are oxycodone, hydrocodone, propoxyphene, hydromorphone, and meperidine, etc.

Oxycodone has the greatest potential for abuse and is as powerful as heroin. It is sold under many trade names, such as Percodan, Roxicet, Roxiprin, Endocet, and OxyContin.

Hydrocodone is used along with other chemicals. Trade names include Hycodan, Anexsia Norco, and Vicodin, etc.

Meperidine, Hydromorphone, and Propoxyphene, all three are crushed and injected, snorted or smoked. Propoxyphene is one of the top ten drugs reported in drug abuse deaths in the US.

These drugs are very addictive. Most people get addicted to them after they start taking them as prescription medication, while some take them recreationally to get high. Both the situations lead to pain reliever addiction and can result in overdose. In the US, pain reliever drugs are one of the most frequently.


Here are some physical signs:

  • Changes in sleeping pattern
  • Constant running nose, cough, and glazed eyes, etc.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bad breath
  • Unusual body odor
  • Tremors, impaired coordination, or slurred speech
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Laziness
  • Bloodshot eyes

Some behavioral signs:

  • Acting suspiciously
  • Change in friend circles, hobbies, and hangout places
  • Always asking for some extra money/even stealing money from family/friends
  • Drop in school/college attendance
  • Bad work performance
  • Getting into troubles like accidents, fights, and illegal activities, etc.

Psychological signs:

  • Sudden change in mood, angry outbursts
  • Change in personality or attitude
  • Feeling agitated or dizzy, without any reason
  • Lack of confidence and motivation

Here are some more symptoms:

  1. Increase in drug usage- Increasing the dosage of pain reliever drugs over time by yourself. Building tolerance toward a drug.
  2. Continual usage – Continuous usage of medications even after the prescribed period is over.
  3. Withdrawal symptoms – Experiencing symptoms like restlessness, nausea, sweating, depression, shaking, insomnia, and anxiety.
  4. Blackouts – Experiencing blackouts and forgetting about the events.
  5. Increased sensitivity – Blurred vision, sounds, and emotions become overly stimulating.
  6. Defensive – Lashing out in response to a simple question in an attempt to hide something.


Accepting addiction is the first step on the way to recovery. It requires a lot of courage and strength to accept the fact that you are an addict. When you’re ready to overcome your drug dependency, seek help! You can go to rehab and then enroll yourself to a support group to prolong your sobriety.

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