It is painful as we sit on the side lines, watching someone we care deeply about struggle with substance abuse. Perhaps they are in a serious battle with a disease that causes stress and chronic pain. Maybe they take too much of their medication or use alcohol in excess. Maybe you feel they have been taking pain pills for too long and could be dealing with prescription drug addiction. Should you reach out to them? How can you really tell if addiction is the issue?
If a person has a medical condition that causes chronic, ongoing pain, it is not unusual to treat the issue with pain medication, specifically narcotics that require a prescription. Prescription drug addiction does not occur just because a person takes this medication. Under a doctor’s proper supervision, a person can take pain pills for years without developing an addiction. After a few years of taking most any type of medication, a person can develop a tolerance. One pill becomes two pills. This still is not addiction. Tolerance to drugs happens to everyone and is often confused with addiction. If the person is taking more than two pills at a time or mixing it with other drugs or alcohol, it is a sure sign the person could benefit from a substance abuse treatment center.
One of the easiest signs to tell if someone has an addiction problem is how they act when the substance in question is not available. In the case of prescription drug addiction, the person is likely to try and obtain the drug through other means, like risky internet ordering or trying to obtain more from another physician and pharmacy. Without their pain pills (or alcohol, heroin, valium…etc) the person may become antsy. They may sweat more, have trouble sleeping, become hostile, have seizures or vomit. Getting assistance from a substance abuse treatment center like Vista Taos Renewal Clinic in New Mexico can help with those detox side effects that negatively impact a person’s morale when considering sobriety. They often want to run back to the drugs or alcohol to avoid the terrible symptoms they experience when they do not have it in their system. In a proper care center, it is possible to experience a more comfortable detoxification stage.
Another way we can tell if we have a loved one dealing with prescription drug addiction or other substance abuse problems is if they are taking the medication even when they feel well. It can be easy to lie to people and say that you are, in fact, in pain and taking medication to treat it, but sometimes we will notice people taking their pain medication when it is clearly not needed. Learning about a person’s medical condition may help you understand if they are treating the pain, or feeding the addiction.
When you have the proof you need that your loved one could benefit from a substance abuse treatment program, what should be your next move? It can be hard to guess how they might act when you confront them about their prescription drug addiction or other substance abuse issues. You should know there are professionals willing to help you make the right decisions regarding an intervention. Expert counselors at New Mexico’s Vista Taos holistic drug rehabilitation center can answer questions you have and point you in the right direction. They are available 24 hours a day and are a great resource for your needs.
Substance abuse signs can be misleading; people may or may not have a problem with their prescription drugs or may or may not be consuming alcohol in excess. Look for the true signs of addiction and make a plan. Let the addict know that you are there for them and will remain by their side when they enter a substance abuse treatment center. If they enter rehabilitation with positive reinforcement and a support system of close friends and family, they have a huge advantage of having a treatment program work for them in the long run. Family and close friends an also benefit from drug treatment counseling, as drug abuse affects everyone. It can rip families apart and destroy decades-long friendships in an instant. Please seek the appropriate assistance that benefits everyone involved.