Spotting a drug addict or alcoholic is not always easy; mostly due to the fact that they have spent years perfecting a public facade. However, there are certainly signs to look for. How many times have you heard someone say they had no idea that someone close to them was a drug addict? How could that be? He is such a nice guy. Addicts and alcoholics come from all walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, construction workers, clergy, young or old can all be victims of this disease. It does not discriminate!
This former patient was a well-respected member of his community. He sought out treatment for his pill addiction over a year ago. From the outside, everything looked great. But the reality was that he hid his addiction from so many. Back surgery and a prescription for pain medicine is how it began – a legitimate reason for someone to need prescription medications. The doctor provided refills for his pain medicine. He was given a 30-day supply. But, he would regularly fill it every 27 days. He was taking more than prescribed. This was the first sign of abuse. Next, he would count his pills. Not a normal thing to do. He would then drink alcohol with his medicine and go against his doctor’s orders. But no one would see this as he was very secretive about it.
He started to become moody. Relationship problems with those close to him started to emerge. He had become isolated and had feelings of depression. Calling out sick for work became a more than regular occurrence. In addition, he lost quite a bit of weight. These all could be chalked up to having health issues. But if someone had the whole picture, it might be easier to figure out what was going on. They were only seeing the no-so-subtle signs.
A recent article discusses some of the signs of addiction and the seriousness of a pain killer/opiate addiction. Although one might have mixed feelings about the addicted person, there is hope that they can get better. It all starts with acknowledging the problem, followed by detoxing and most likely, inpatient treatment. If you suspect a friend or family member is abusing drugs reach out for help. You could save a loved one’s life!