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Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse

Two people talking about prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is very common in the U.S. and affects millions of people each year. Despite the known dangers of drug abuse, many people ignore the warnings and choose to abuse their prescription medication to heighten the euphoric response. What they don’t realize is they are creating higher tolerance and physical dependence that will push them to continue to take more and more.

Roaring Brook supports individuals and their families who are struggling with a substance use disorder caused by prescription drug abuse. Our facility in Lexington works with adults on an outpatient basis to address the physical and psychological aspects of the disorder in the quickest and safest manner possible. Each personalized program includes group and private therapy sessions in person or through telehealth services.

For more information about our prescription drug addiction treatments, call 855.590.9944 today to schedule a tour and meet our compassionate team.

Understanding Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders are very common today. In 2022, 48.7 million people reported struggling with this treatable disorder.1 Why do addiction cases continue to grow despite the known dangers of abusing prescription medication, alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs?

Our society has a very carefree attitude when it comes to substance abuse. Binge drinking is popular with young adults, as is using prescription medication so they can party all night and still study for the big test the next day. The attitude of “it won’t happen to me. I’m careful” goes right out the window the longer this harmful habit lasts.

Abusing drugs or alcohol, no matter the amount, will lead to a physical dependence on the substance, along with intense cravings that push you to keep using. If you stop suddenly, you will experience intensifying withdrawal symptoms that can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea or constipation (depending on the substance)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Intense drug cravings

Abusing prescription medication can lead to abusing harder drugs, like heroin, meth, or fentanyl. If this happens, the risk of developing a serious addiction increases significantly, as does the risk of overdose and death.

Roaring Brook welcomes adults who are struggling with prescription drug abuse, alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and all other types of addiction. We create a personalized treatment plan for each participant and use proven therapeutic treatment methods and medical support to ease withdrawals, cravings, and other disruptive symptoms.

Recognizing the Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse can be a bit difficult if you are unfamiliar with addiction and how it can change a person’s behavior and personality. Those who abuse their medication will often hide their abuse from their loved ones, making it that much more difficult to know when there is a problem.

Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs of prescription drug abuse that you can look out for:

Check Their Prescriptions

One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is abusing their medication is by monitoring their prescription and knowing how much they are supposed to take and when the refill date is.  Running out before the refill dates is a clear indication they are taking more than they should. Also, be on the lookout for having the same prescription from different doctors and having medication prescribed to a different person.

Behavioral Signs

When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, they will experience behavioral and personality changes. This can show itself in a variety of different ways, such as difficulty keeping up with work, school, or family responsibilities, a lack of interest in favorite activities, or pulling away from family and friends.

Physical Signs of Addiction

Those who abuse their prescription medication will show tell-tale signs of addiction that include a decline in personal hygiene, insomnia, changes in their eating habits and weight, and poor coordination and balance.

Cognitive Signs

Addiction has a direct impact on your brain’s ability to function properly and can lead to trouble concentrating, a lack of good judgment, and general confusion. Other signs include an altered perception of reality, disorientation, trouble making simple decisions, and increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Enroll Today in the Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program at Roaring Brook Recovery

If you or a loved one are abusing their prescription medication, the smart choice is to enroll in a prescription drug treatment program. These programs are designed to help participants better understand the reason behind the abuse and teach them healthy coping skills to manage their symptoms and triggers.

Roaring Brook Recovery is a full-service addiction treatment center with a wide range of treatment programs to treat prescription drug abuse and other types of addiction. Our outpatient programs allow you to begin working on your recovery while living at home or in a sober living environment.

If you or a loved one is abusing their prescription medication, call 855.590.9944 today to schedule a tour and meet our dedicated team.


1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration