You may have one or more of these warning signs:
An urge to use the drug every day, or many times a day
Taking more drugs than you want to, and for longer than you thought you would.
Always having the drug with you, and buying it even if you can’t afford it
Using drugs even if they cause you trouble at work or make you lash out at family and friends.
Spending more time alone.
Not taking care of yourself or caring how you look
Stealing, lying, or doing dangerous things, like driving while high or having unsafe sex
Spending most of your time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of the drug
Feeling sick when you try to quit
How to Prevent Addiction to Prescribed Painkillers
Most people who take their pain medicine as directed by their doctor do not become addicted, even if they take the medicine for a long time. Fears about addiction should not prevent you from using narcotics to relieve your pain.
But if you’ve abused drugs or alcohol in the past or have family members who have, you may be at a higher risk.
To avoid pain medicine addiction:
Take the drug exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Tell your doctor about any personal or family history of drug abuse or addiction; this will help them prescribe the medicines that will work best for you.
Remember, it’s common for people to develop a tolerance to pain medication and to need higher doses to get the same level of pain relief. This is normal and is not a sign of addiction. With addiction, you may need to use higher doses, but it’s not for pain relief. Still, talk to your doctor if this effect becomes troubling.
Don’t Wait; Get Help Now
If your drug use is out of control or causing problems, talk to your doctor.
Getting better from drug addiction can take time. There’s no cure, but treatment can help you stop using drugs and stay drug-free. Your treatment may include counseling, medicine, or both. Talk to your doctor to figure out the best plan for you.