Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse rarely happens in people who need commonly abused painkillers, sedatives or stimulants to treat a medical condition. But it can be difficult for a doctor to distinguish between a person who needs a larger dose to control his or her pain and a person who's abusing prescription painkillers.

In general, the following behaviors are warning signs of prescription drug abuse:

* Continually "losing" prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
* Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
* Taking higher doses despite warnings
* Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
* Excessive mood swings

Here is a list of symptoms on specific drugs:

* Opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin)
* Sedatives and tranquilizers, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)
* Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) — commonly used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Each category has its own specific symptoms of use or abuse.

Opioid painkillers

* Constipation
* Depression
* Low blood pressure
* Decreased respiration rate
* Confusion

Sedatives and tranquilizers

* Drowsiness
* Confusion
* Unsteady gait
* Impaired judgment
* Involuntary and rapid movement of the eyeball


* Weight loss
* Agitation
* Irritability
* Insomnia
* High blood pressure
* Irregular heartbeat

Talk to your doctor if you think anyone in your family, including yourself, may be abusing prescription drugs. It may save a life or your own.


Post a Comment

<< Home