Although most people who use prescription painkillers don't become addicted, in some cases people can develop a physical and mental addiction.

One of the first signs of an addiction is the loss of control over one’s use of a medication and taking more and more of the drug, or taking the medication for uses other than its prescribed use.

Someone who is addicted to painkillers often will have slurred speech, show signs of depression, be unable to concentrate and feel dizzy and lethargic. Addicts may also begin to have financial troubles and frequently miss work or school. Other changes in behavior include an exaggerated need for privacy, disheveled appearance and poor personal hygiene, and a lack of interest in activities that previously were important.

A person who has become addicted to painkillers will crave the drugs, even when the pain isn't severe enough to need medication. When the pills aren't available, physical cravings may turn into withdrawal symptoms.

Getting past painkiller abuse often requires a doctor's supervision and may involve a detox program. Those who have been addicted to other substances or who have a family history of addiction are most at risk. If you suspect someone is addicted to painkillers you should talk to them about seeking help.

We have seen how painkiller addiction can be a terrible problem that destroys people's families, work, and finances. Sometimes these medications don't even warn patients of addictive properties; and when that happens, victims can sometimes launch a dangerous drug claim.

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