There are many people who assume that drug addicts are the only people who make bad decisions in life and do illegal activities. This isn’t the case. There are many people who become addicted to drugs accidentally. Some people are addicted to drugs that are perfectly legal for them to own and use. The following guide walks you through a few things you should know about addiction to legal substances.

Addiction to Legal Substances Often Involves an Injury

Most people become addicted to pain pills after an injury or accident happens. A doctor prescribes them medications to ease some of the pain that they are in and when it no longer works as effectively as it did when they first started taking it, they take more of it than a doctor prescribes or they take it more frequently than they should. This builds up their body’s tolerance to the drug and causes them to need to take more and more of it when they want to ease their pain.

Taking pills differently than prescribed can also make the pain seem far more intense when someone stops taking them. This is because their pain has been numbed for so long that they no longer remember what it felt like to begin with and when they feel it again, the pain seems so intense. If you know that you have an addiction in your family, you may want to avoid taking any pain medication if at all possible. Use other forms of treatment such as acupuncture or chiropractic care to treat your symptoms.

Addiction to Illegal Drugs Often Progresses Over Time

People often don’t become addicted to drugs overnight. When the pills don’t give them the same effect, they make the mistake of self-medicating and thinking that taking an extra dose here or there won’t hurt anything. Then they quickly realize that the more of the drugs they take, the more they end up having to take to get the same outcome. This is a gradual change that many people don’t even realize has happened until it is too late. It’s important to track when you are taking your medications. Setting an alarm on your phone when it is time to take your medications again can help you to ensure you don’t take the pills more often than you should.

An addiction to pain pills isn’t always as obvious as an addiction to other drugs. People who are addicted to pain pills often try to hide their addiction. Addicts don’t want anyone to know that they have an addiction problem because someone could try to inspire them to get help. It’s important to take the time to notice the signs of addiction if you think that someone may have an addiction problem. Pain pills can often make people more lethargic than they normally are. They often cause a decrease in attention span and can make people more aggressive than they normally are. This is often because they are irritable because they are starting to feel pain again and are irritated that they can’t ease their pain.

Addiction Can Cause Someone to do Bad Things

At some point, there are some addicts who end up getting in trouble with the law due to their addiction. There are many people who assume that addiction to pain pills isn’t as serious as an addiction to an illegal drug, such as heroin or cocaine. This isn’t the case, though. Pain pills are often just as much of an issue and in some cases more of an issue because they are so readily available to an addict.

People often assume that it’s impossible for someone to get addicted to prescription medications because the doctor only prescribes a certain amount the patient and if they realize that there are any signs of addiction that they won’t prescribe them more. This is true, but that doesn’t mean that the person can’t still gain access to them.

Once an addiction to pain pills develops, most addicts will do just about anything to get their hands on more of the medication. Many addicts turn to theft in order to get their medications. They will steal from their friends and family and some even turn to breaking into other people’s homes to find the pills they crave. Medication is commonly stored in the kitchen or in the bathroom within a home. An addict can get in and out of multiple houses very quickly because they only have to look in those two rooms. If they don’t find anything, they get out of the house just as quickly as they get into it.

The reason that most people get caught is that they make the mistake of going back to a house where they found pain pills. Anyone who is taking the medications as prescribed can report the pills as stolen and get another prescription written quickly. Once the prescription is refilled, most people store them back in the same place, but some set up surveillance cameras or a security system. When the addict comes back to steal again, they end up getting caught because of the security measures the homeowner put in place. If multiple homes in the area have had medications stolen within the same timeframe, the addict could get charged with multiple counts of breaking and entering, as well as theft.

When someone is addicted to prescription pain pills, it can be hard for them to get help because they are ashamed. If you notice that someone you love is showing signs of addiction or they tell you that they have a problem, be supportive. Try to help them get the professional help that they need and do everything that you can to push them to continue with their journey to sobriety. No one wants to become an addict and once it happens, it can be hard to know what steps to take to overcome it for good. Professional help can make the process easier.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.