Prescribed medication is safe…right? This is true as long as you use it within the requirements that the doctor has set forth. However, for many Americans, what starts off as medicated relief from serious pain turns into a dependency on potent prescription drugs that ends up taking over their lives.

We rely on prescription meds for everything from surgery and injuries to menstrual cramps and headaches. So knowing when you’ve crossed the line from using to dependency can be hard to pinpoint.

Abuse of Prescribed Drugs Can Have Adverse Consequences

What’s scary is that some of the more commonly prescribed painkillers like Percocet and Oxycontin can have adverse effects if taken beyond the instructions of a doctor. While it is essential to help soothe the pain, these types of painkillers can easily cause a person’s body to feel like they need the drugs in order to function properly.

This, in turn, leads to chemical dependency which can be a hard phase to get out of on your own. If you believe you’ve become dependent upon prescription painkillers, it is beneficial that you reach out to rehab programs like for assistance.

Signs You’ve Crossed the Line

It is always important to follow the instructions on the prescription to ensure that you are safe. Be that as it may, not all of us follow the doctor’s orders and can begin increasing the dosage as a way of decreasing the pain. Below are a few signs of dependency and possible addiction to painkillers:

  1. Increased Usage – If you’ve been taking prescribed medication for a prolonged period of time, your body can become tolerant. As such, you may begin taking a few more pills to get the same relief. If you’ve been increasing your dosage (even by ½ pill), this is a clear sign that your body has become tolerant, and you need to talk with your doctor.
  2. Personality Changes – Do you notice a change in your mood? Behavioral changes can be a sign of chemical dependency. You may experience a change in mood, energy, and concentration as the need for relief becomes the top priority in your life.
  3. Social Withdrawal – As you notice your dependency, it can be fairly easy to withdraw from family and friends as a way of hiding your issue.
  4. Use After Improvement – If you’re using the painkillers well after your condition has improved this is a sign of dependency and addiction. Typically you feel like you’re still in pain and need more of the medication to get better. If you’ve switched doctors lately because of their refusal to write a prescription you should get help.
  5. Use of Time to Obtain Prescription – Someone who has become dependent upon prescription medication will dedicate a lot of time to obtaining them. Whether this means visiting various doctors, traveling further to different pharmacies, or trying to obtain it illegally on the street.
  6. Change of Habits and Appearance – Failure to complete daily tasks like eating, sleeping, or taking care of personal hygiene is a sign that they’ve become dependent.
  7. Neglecting Responsibilities – Falling behind on household chores or responsibilities and even an increase in absences from work is a sign of dependency.
  8. Increased Sensitivity – Sights, sounds, and emotions that were once normal may become overly stimulating to someone abusing prescription meds.
  9. Backouts & Memory Loss – A surefire sign that you’ve got a chemical dependency would be blacking out or regularly forgetting things that have taken place.
  10. Denial – If approached about your increased use of prescription meds, your changed appearance or behavior, are you quick to jump to the defense or flat out deny there’s an issue? If so, this is likely a sign that you need help.

Don’t fall into the painkiller trap. Medication that is prescribed by a doctor may seem like a safe bet to take whenever and however you want. However, as the saying goes, too much of anything isn’t good for you.

It is important that you follow the instructions provided for you by the doctor and to talk with them if you feel the medication is not working. If you recognize any of the above-mentioned signs in yourself or someone close to you, chances are they’ve become dependent upon prescription painkillers and need help.