One of the most difficult challenges in life is trying to help someone who has an addiction. Even more challenging, however, is identifying an addiction when it happens. Let’s face it, some people are experts at hiding their painkiller dependency. If you suspect that it may be happening to a close friend or loved one, then the best action you can take is to learn the signs. Below are nine symptoms of a pain pill addiction. If you notice a combination of these signs, then take action to help this person.

Constant Fatigue. Although there are several possible causes for ongoing fatigue, painkillers are definitely a possibility. Many painkillers are depressants that cause tiredness and an overall lack of motivation. This is especially true with ‘PM’ products that help patients go to sleep, but keep them from getting out of bed the next morning.

A Change in Habits. Have you noticed that the person you’re living with has a new routine that seems a little ‘off’? Look for signs such as eating at weird times, sleeping for long periods during the day, or suddenly not going to work for strange reasons or excuses. While people change their habits for different reasons, some changes are completely unexplainable.

No Desire To Maintain Good Hygiene. If you’ve observed that someone has suddenly lost interest in taking a shower, brushing his or her teeth, or even putting on deodorant, it may be more than laziness or a weekend binge. Pill dependency can cause an overall lack of interest in one’s self.

Weight Loss. An addiction can either reduce or speed up metabolism. If the metabolism slows down, someone may no longer have an appetite. Thus he or she will eat less. An accelerated metabolism will cause a person to burn calories faster than they can take them in. The question you need to ask is, “Is this person’s weight loss normal? How did he or she go from 198 pounds to 120 in just a few weeks?”

Decreased Sexual Interest. The mental and emotional toil that painkillers can trigger will have an impact in a person’s libido. This is because the ingredients in these types of medicines can lower testosterone and estrogen levels. This leads to sexual dysfunction as well as trigger slower processes in blood flow and bone density.

Disengaging in Social Activity. Does your loved one suddenly want to withdraw from social life? Does he or she prefer to be alone rather than go out? When the problem has reached this level, it may mean that there is a preference for taking the drug instead of spending time with family or friends. In the most severe cases, he or she may not think twice about losing close relationships.

Theft. Drug habits are expensive. This includes painkillers. If the prescriptions run out, then the addict may turn to the streets. This can cause an increase in the amount of money he or she may spend to get the pills. When the money runs out, the addict may resort to stealing money or valuable items to fund the habit.

Ineffective at work. You may notice that a coworker is missing days at the office, not producing good work, or may appear to lack motivation. Is he or she calling in ‘sick’ more than normal? According to experts, poor performance at work is a sure sign of a chemical dependency.

Moodiness. Pain pill abuse will definitely create tension in many different scenarios due to the effect they have on a person’s mood. Look for signs of grumpiness and depression that occurs for no apparent reason. You’ll also want to be aware of any sudden aggression such as yelling or a willingness to get physical during conflict.

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