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Common Signs of Drug-Seeking Behavior

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Common Signs of Drug-Seeking Behavior

May 30, 2019
drug-seeking behavior

If you suspect a close friend or family member has developed a substance misuse problem, you may be wondering what to look for and how to help them. Medical professionals have identified several key warning signs of drug-seeking behavior – activities that indicate a drug tolerance or addiction. If a doctor or hospital labels someone as a drug seeker, it will make it more difficult for them to obtain a legitimate prescription, and they may begin looking to secure drugs from an illicit source.

Can you identify an addiction by knowing the signs of drug-seeking behavior? What should you do if your loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs such as opioids or benzodiazepines?

How to Spot Drug-Seeking Behavior

People who misuse prescription drugs will often go to great lengths to get doctors to write them new prescriptions, including lying about the severity of their symptoms and going to multiple different doctors in an attempt to find someone who will agree to give them access to drugs.

Sadly, most individuals who seek drugs in this way remain in denial that they have a drug problem. Some may genuinely believe they need these addictive medications to manage conditions like pain, anxiety or insomnia. Their unwillingness to admit the truth makes it much more of a challenge to get them into treatment, and can eventually destroy their lives. Addressing a drug addiction often feels like a nearly insurmountable task.

At first glance, drug-seeking behavior can be difficult to spot. As someone who cares, how can you tell if your loved one is exhibiting drug-seeking behavior? Here is a list of common signs you can watch for.

  • Claiming they need more drugs to replace a lost or stolen prescription
  • Misrepresenting their symptoms
  • Frequent visits to multiple doctors, including a willingness to travel to a different city or state to see a new physician – a phenomenon called “doctor shopping”
  • Unwillingness or inability to provide a complete health history or contact information for previous physicians

What to Do When Your Loved One Has a Drug Problem

The only way to stop drug-seeking behavior is to treat the underlying drug addiction through therapy and rehabilitation treatment. Because a prescription drug addict may resist going to rehab, an intervention may help anyone who routinely shows signs of drug-seeking behavior.

You will need to plan this meeting well in advance if you want to succeed in your goal of making your loved one agree to seek treatment for their substance misuse problem. It can be invaluable to engage the services of a qualified professional interventionist to help you orchestrate the meeting and make sure you don’t leave any details out.

You’ll also need to have a treatment plan and rehabilitation facility identified and ready to move your loved one into immediately after they admit they have a prescription drug problem and need to seek help. Depending on the extent of their addiction and how long they abused drugs, they may need to begin with drug detox before entering an inpatient or outpatient recovery program.

Does Someone You Love Need Prescription Drug Help?

Don’t run the risk of losing a person you care about to a prescription drug addiction. Let our intervention specialists help you organize and manage an intervention that reiterates your support and encourages your friend or family member to enter treatment. We understand your loved one’s addiction may have you at the end of your rope, but Intervention 911 is here to break through the denial and get them the help they need. Don’t try to go it alone. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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