In Member States such as in Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Northern Ireland, there are many people with painkiller addictions. Scandinavia has the highest demand in treatment for sedatives and tranquilizers. According to the World Drug Report, 11% and 70% are addicted to benzodiazepines which are used to treat anxiety. While these drugs can work wonders with treating pain, taking too much can make you feel like you cannot function normally without them. There are various signs of finding out if you have a painkiller dependency.
One way that you know you have a painkiller dependency is when your behavior starts to change including energy, concentration, and mood. Suddenly, the things that used to be a priority are not as important as taking your prescription medication. If you feel the need to increase your prescribed dose, that means you are no longer feeling any effect to your usual prescription and that you have grown tolerant to them. Even though you are cured of your pain, you still feel you need more medication and can get upset if your doctor refuses.
Being addicted to painkillers can make you socially withdrawn from the people you care about such as family, friends, and other social interactions. Instead of spending your time with those people, you spend all day obsessing about where to get your next dose of painkillers which can include driving great distances and visiting many doctors to acquire more pills. Instead of focusing on the important things like paying your bills, doing chores around the house, or going to work, the number one priority is either taking medication or being on the quest for more.
It is important to pay attention to the side effects that come with taking too many prescription drugs. Sleeping and eating habits can change as well as symptoms of feeling sick like a runny nose, cough, or reddened eyes. It is also possible to have heightened sensory issues such as having your sight, sound and emotions affected. Hallucinations, blackouts, and regularly forgetting events that have taken place can occur as well. The last sign of having a painkiller addiction is if you feel defensive when people question your addiction for fear that your secret can come out. If you feel the need to hide that you are taking doses larger than you are supposed to, then you know there is something wrong and that you need help.