Many authorities feel the current opioid addiction crisis that's sweeping the country is a man-made problem. It started a few decades ago when the drug companies assured doctors and patients alike that opioid pain relievers like oxycontin carried a low risk of addiction.
We now know that's not true. Numerous people have become addicted to prescription painkillers as a result of doctors prescribing them too often, for too many reasons and for far too long. According to the 2017 figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some 11.4 million people have misused prescription opioids. Forty percent of opioid-related deaths involve a prescription.
Could your loved one be addicted to opioids? Addiction is the driving force behind drug-related crimes, so it can endanger your loved one's health and freedom all at once. Here are some of the signs of addiction:
- Your loved one seems to have access to more of the drug than you think is normal, and you aren't sure how they are obtaining them.
- You see your loved one taking more than one pill at a time, or see them take pills when they aren't in pain.
- They have "lost" medication or run out before the prescription is due to be filled again.
- Your loved one has gone to more than one doctor seeking pain prescriptions.
- You've noted that your loved one seems to have mood swings, has had a personality change or disrupted sleep patterns that aren't related to their illness or injury.
You may be uncomfortable addressing your concerns with your loved one -- but doing so now could help them admit to the problem and get help. That's a much better option than waiting until they are charged with a prescription drug crime and facing the threat of imprisonment.