8 Signs Of Painkillers Addiction

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8 signs of painkillers addiction

Are You At Risk Of Killer Medicines?

The 8 signs of painkillers addiction identify actions that should be warning signals of craving in your use and dosage of painkillers. Many people worry that taking painkillers will lead to addiction, whether prescribed or purchased over the counter (OTC). Then again, if your medication to relieve your pain is taken as directed, you shouldn’t have a problem.  

This having been said, the possibility of addiction still remains.  Therefore, the 8 signs of painkillers addiction are warnings you should be mindful of like these:

You Are Thinking About The Next Dose

One of the first signs of addiction is becoming preoccupied with two things: First when you can take your next dose, and second whether your supply is enough.

It may be a red flag in a situation where you are constantly watching the clock, so you can take your next dose. This would have made better sense if it is fresh dental work and you are in pain.  But if the pain has subsided and you are still thinking of dosing, you may now be dependent on the medication. Though, it is important to note that dependency and addiction are not the same things.

Are you confused? This is explained further. You can be physically dependent on a drug but not addicted. For instance, when you are physically dependent on a drug, your body has built up a tolerance to it. So you need higher doses of the medication to get the same effect. Then again, when you are addicted to a drug, it is more than physical pain. This is when you keep using the drug, even though it is causing serious problems in your personal relationships and social life. 

Do You Think More Painkiller Is Better?

8 signs of painkillers addiction

Are you taking more painkillers than you should? That is more often than what your doctor prescribed, or what the dosage says on the packet. Alternatively when you think your doctor is not aware of the intensity of your pain? It could be when you assumed your doctor intended that you should take it whenever you need to, even if that is not what he instructed. All these examples of self-justification for more painkillers are red flags.

Also, are you in the habit of prolonging the time between doses or reducing some doses you take in order to take more later in the day? Subsequently, if you are trying to regulate how you take your painkillers. Rather than follow your doctor’s instructions or OTC dosage instructions, you may have a problem.

You Switch Doctors

In situations whereby you see more than one doctor for the same prescription may be cause for concern. This is an addiction warning if the reason behind your intention is to find a new doctor. In other words, a doctor will write you another prescription to boost your supply of painkillers. This is cause for concern if your action is not in line with what your doctor ordered.

Hence, if you look out for doctors who are known for overprescribing; you have lied about losing your prescription, and your story keeps changing with different doctors to get more medication.  These actions signal the possibility of painkillers addiction.

You Get Painkillers From Other Sources

8 signs of painkillers addiction

When you feel you do not have adequate medication to ease your pain, so you try to get more from other sources. These ways of stocking up on painkillers signal the chances of addiction:

  • Ordering drugs online.
  • Stealing other people’s leftover prescription drugs.
  • Stealing drugs from a sick relative.
  • Buying other people’s prescription drugs.
  • Injuring yourself so you can go to a hospital and get a new prescription.
  • Buying drugs on the street.

You Continue Taking Painkillers Even After Relief From Pain

You probably started taking pain medication because something hurts. If you are still using narcotic painkillers long after the pain has gone, it may be time to ask for help.

This is because you may be taking them because you like the way they make you feel, instead of relieving pain. Or maybe you are beginning to have physical cravings. Both are signs of a problem.

The goal of pain medication is to get you through a rough patch. It is not really meant to be a way to maintain or manage chronic pain long-term.

You Become Defensive When Someone Shows Concern

Have your friends or family tried to talk to you about how you are using your medication? If you feel defensive or irritated when they approach you, you may be getting in too deep.

You Are In A Depressive Mood

You are in a depressive mood and letting yourself go by first when you are not bothered by your personal hygiene or the way you look. Secondly, when you feel moodier than usual, or on edge. Thirdly, when you are not eating properly. Fourthly, you experience changes in sleep. For instance, those people who are addicted to drugs like morphine, tramadol, and codeine sleep for days most times in a darkroom.


All in all, if you are ignoring your responsibilities or children, or life in general, it’s time to seek help.

You Take Painkillers Secretly

8 signs of painkillers addiction

There is a problem when you start hiding your painkillers and taking them secretly. At the start of any slight headache or pain, you rush to swallow a few painkillers. And even when there is really no pain, your mind says there is because it has more or less become a habit.

The Bottom Line

The final message of 8 signs of painkillers addiction is what to do if you are worried. Consequently,  if any of these signs is speaking to you or someone you love, ask for help. Even if you are not sure it is an addiction, reexamine the pain when it comes. For instance, at times a slight headache could mean you need to take a rest and shut the stress out. While a minor fall that causes pain in your foot may just need topical analgesic cream for relief.

The chances are there to misuse painkillers, even when you do not mean to. The solution is not to live in denial of the problem.  This simply means you need to try to be honest with doctors, friends, and addiction professionals.  But most of all, be honest with yourself.




Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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