What are the Signs of a Prescription Pill Addiction?

What are the Signs of a Prescription Pill Addiction?

A prescription drug addiction can be hidden in plain sight. Early intervention is often the best way to help a loved one seek treatment to increase chances for a successful, long lasting recovery. Physical and emotional damage is also minimized when addiction is caught early on. Learn to identify the signs of prescription drug use and what to do if a loved one is suspected of being addicted.



Some of the more common signs of prescription drug use may not seem obvious. Upon closer inspection, however, it is possible to see the whole picture together and start to understand what is happening. The following signs may appear which can hint at a bigger problem:

  • Defensiveness about drug use
  • Drug seeking behavior (doctor shopping, frequent ER trips, claims of lost or stolen prescriptions)
  • Exaggerated symptoms in an effort to get more of the drug
  • Inability to cut back or quit using
  • Inability to perform daily tasks
  • Mood swings
  • Preoccupation with taking or using drugs
  • Using higher doses than necessary of the drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms when drug is not used


A treating physician should provide a diagnosis for prescription drug addiction through a physical exam and understanding of how a person uses preferred prescription drug. Confirmation of prescription drug addiction can be done by scheduling a screening or assessment with a qualified psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist.



Once a prescription drug addiction has been identified and diagnosed, it is likely the person using drugs will not admit to or think a problem exists. This is the most difficult phase of the journey to this point. Interventions sometimes work to help a person realize what a problem prescription drugs have become. An informal or formal intervention may be used with loved ones and professional addiction interventionists. The choice is offered to either keep using drugs or seek help at that point and multiple interventions may be necessary before a person is willing to stop using drugs and seek treatment.


An addiction specialist will perform an assessment on an individual who is ready for treatment. Once the severity of the addiction is determined, an individualized treatment care plan is written up and decided upon. Detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment are options as well as intensive therapy and counseling which can help get to the underlying causes of the drug use.


Seeking Help

The good news is that people do not have to seek treatment and journey alone through the process. Support can come from family, friends, loved ones and professional staff who care about the person’s wellbeing and overall health. Groups are a great way to find others who understand the experience of using prescription drugs with individuals who have been in recovery a long time and will offer advice, support and counsel when needed. With support, treatment and a positive attitude, it is possible to quit using prescription drugs for good.


The Villa provides individualized assessments, programs and treatment for individuals struggling with prescription drug use. Don’t suffer in silence. We are here to help. Call us for more information on how to get started.