As the prescription drug epidemic becomes more prominent in the media, South Carolina is not exempt from the same problems the rest of the country faces. This problem affects people of all ages and the Mayo Clinic states that the most commonly abused drugs are anti-anxiety medication, stimulants, sedatives and opioid painkillers. For some families, it is hard to spot the signs of abuse before the situation is out of control.
The signs of a prescription drug abuse are different depending on the type of medication. They may include the following:
- Stimulants: insomnia, paranoia, irregular heartbeat, increased alertness, high blood pressure, reduced appetite, anxiety
- Anti-anxiety medications: confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, unsteady walking, problems with memory, dizziness and slowed breathing
- Opioids: confusion, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, feeling high, poor coordination, slowed breathing rate, tolerance to the medication
Some common behavioral signs of prescription drug addiction include hostility or excessive mood swings, unusual amounts of energy, forging, selling or stealing prescriptions and prescription seeking from doctors. Addicts may also make poor decisions, appear to be sedated or high and constantly be looking for a refill of a medication.
Teenagers and young adults may go through more serious mood swings and it may be easier to spot the signs early. Narconon International suggests that parents watch for withdrawal from friends and family, lack of interest in hobbies and interests, aggressive, angry or hostile behavior, routine irritability and roller coaster emotions. They may also get bad grades suddenly, stop caring about curfew or family rules and have strange sleeping patterns.
Even minor prescription drug abuse can lead to a person committing crimes to get ahold of drugs or money to buy drugs. Anyone who is facing criminal issues related to a prescription drug addiction may benefit from speaking to a criminal defense attorney.