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Signs a Person is Abusing Painkillers

By: Shannon Persad October 22, 2019 no comments

Signs a Person is Abusing Painkillers

The rise of substance abuse cannot be ignored, nor can the type of drugs a person uses to alleviate their symptoms or problems.

You’ve most likely heard of the opioid epidemic, with heroin and fentanyl being deadly substitutes. There have been other concerns as well, with marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine.

However, there is a sneaky substitute as well, which is more widely accessible—painkillers.

Being addicted to painkillers is a real diagnosis, similar to that of opioid prescription addiction. Because it can act as a “stealth” addiction, how will you know if someone is addicted to painkillers?

Symptoms of a Person Addicted to Painkillers

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

“Misuse of prescription opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants is a serious public health problem in the United States. Although most people take prescription medications responsibly, in 2017, an estimated 18 million people (more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older) have misused such medications at least once in the past year. According to results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 5,480 initiates per day. Additionally, more than one million misused prescription stimulants, 1.5 million misused tranquilizers, and 271,000 misused sedatives for the first time.”

Misusing and abusing painkillers also affects all ages, even seniors.

Common symptoms of abusing painkillers are:

  • Constipation
  • Depression (mental illness)
  • Irritability
  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Mood swings
  • Imbalance in coordination
  • Pupils dilated
  • Speech problems

When a person no longer can feed their addiction to painkillers, they become depressed, angry or physically ill. Some increase their dosage, which can lead to health complications or reckless behavior.


Being addicted to painkillers can lead to dire consequences, even though they are not as powerful as many of the other drugs. In a way, it can be seen as a gateway drug that is abused.

If you or someone you know has an addiction to painkillers, seek professional help.

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