Spotting Rx Drug Abuse

“I found multiple bottles of pain killers with prescriptions from different doctors in the medicine cabinet.”

“My spouse is taking 2-3 times the recommended dosage of a prescription pain medicine.”

“There are unexplained ATM withdrawals from our bank account.”

“My spouse is suddenly having attendance problems at work/keeping a job. This was never a problem before.”

These are common warning signs of a prescription drug dependency/addiction. If you have noticed any of these signs with a spouse, adult child or anyone residing in your household, it may be time to address the issue. These warning signs can be accompanied by a withdrawal from family responsibilities, mood swings, hostility or a change in sleep patterns.

Start the process by creating a log or diary of what you know. When was the person initially prescribed
pain killers, anti-anxiety medications or sleep aids? Can you note specific instances of the warning signs since the person began taking the prescription? Has there been a steady increase in the number of instances?

What are the next steps? While being supportive, share your concerns with the individual. In many cases, the person will be in denial about the problem. The next step would be to speak to the doctor about the issue, if you can, given today’s privacy regulations. If the problem persists, it may be time to consider entering a treatment program, starting with a medical detox, followed by either residential or outpatient counseling.

Pathways 28-day and extended care treatment programs utilize proven, science-based methods to prescription drug dependencies and addictions. Contact us to learn more about these programs.