Posted by Steps to Recovery on March 8, 2013

There is a serious problem with painkiller addiction in the United States and around the world, and the addiction and death statistics are increasing at an alarming rate. The problem with prescription painkillers (usually opiates) is that if you take them consistently over a long enough period of time (sometimes for as little as several days), you will develop a physical dependency to those pills — and there’s no amount of education that can stop that inevitable neurochemical process from occurring.

In the past 20 years, the rate of painkiller addiction has risen steadily, just as the rates of prescriptions have risen steadily. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse, between 1991 and 2010 prescriptions for opioid pain relievers have risen from 75.5 million to 209.5 million. At a panel discussion of national addiction experts at the Betty Ford Center last April, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack said, “The fastest-growing drug problem in America is the abuse of prescription drugs, especially painkillers, stimulants and depressants. It is estimated that nearly 30,000 Americans will die from prescription drug abuse and overdoses this year.”

One of the big contributors to the quickly increasing problem of painkiller addiction is that they are legal when prescribed. But just because a drug can be legally prescribed does not make it safe. Some people end up with painkiller addiction because they are prescribed these pills for a long period of time and it might not even be noticed for a while, while others become addicted because they realize that they like the feeling these prescription pain pills give them and they want to continue feeling that way.

So, since painkiller addiction has become such an epidemic and is on the rise even still, how can you tell if your loved one is suffering from painkiller addiction? Here are eight signs that something may be going on.

1 – Change in sleep habits
2 – Change in energy level
3 – Change in personal hygiene
4 – Change in mood/ personality
5 – Sudden change in work habits or changes at his job
6 – Change of friends
7 – Loss of appetite
8 – Constricted pupils

Painkiller addiction is a serious problem, but there is help available. Contact Steps to Recovery to find out how to get help for your loved one if you suspect they may be suffering from painkiller addiction. We are here to help, with our Heroin Addiction Rehab Program.