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How To Help A Friend With Prescription Drug Addiction

a person wraps their arms around their friend after learning how to help a friend with prescription drug addiction

Like Americans from all walks of life, you may know someone who’s addicted to a prescription drug. Problems of this type affect millions of people every year. Recovery from them typically requires some kind of prescription drug treatment program. How can you help a friend who needs such a program? Ultimately, the decision to recover and get better is up to them. Still, you can do multiple things to help them before, during, and after their time in treatment.

Prescription Drug Addiction in a Loved One – Is Someone You Know Affected?

Prescription drug addiction is a term used to describe a pattern of medication use that typically leads to:

  • Brain changes that indicate a physical dependence on that medication
  • An involuntary need to take more of it and secure continued access to it
  • Disdain for the consequences of accessing and using a medication

This pattern commonly develops around substances classified as opioids, stimulants, or sedatives. Addiction to such medications is a form of substance use disorder (SUD). The type of medication involved determines the nature of the disorder.

Unless you’re a doctor or addiction specialist, you lack the skills needed to diagnose a SUD. Still, you may detect things in your friend that are reasonable causes for concern. For example, you may notice them taking a medication in higher amounts or more often than they should.

They may also use other people’s medication or buy it from an unauthorized third party. In addition, they may attempt to obtain prescriptions for the same drug from multiple doctors. Your friend may also take a medication purely for recreational purposes. Additionally, they may crush their medication or do other things to try to increase its desired effects.

What’s more, prescription drug addiction in a loved one may manifest in ways such as:

  • Lack of concern about their hygiene or appearance
  • Avoidance of contact with you or other friends
  • Theft from you or other people

Your friend may also become unusually paranoid or accusatory.

How to Help a Friend With Prescription Drug Addiction Seek a Diagnosis

Wondering how to help a friend with prescription addiction? Typically, the first consideration is formally diagnosing their condition. By yourself, you can’t determine if an SUD is really present. However, a doctor or addiction specialist can.

Do what you can to encourage your friend to seek an SUD assessment from one of these experts. This isn’t always easy to do. Many people affected by addiction refuse to acknowledge what’s happening to them. If this is true for your friend, they may resist your efforts or deny that a problem exists. In some cases, you may need to stage an intervention with the support of trained professionals.

Helping a Friend During Treatment

Once your friend enters treatment, they still need your help. You can provide this help by supporting their efforts to get better. That may mean doing such things as driving them to their scheduled appointments. It may also mean avoiding drinking or using drugs around them during and after treatment. In addition, you can help simply by staying patient as they adjust to their changing circumstances.

Seek Further Advice on How to Help a Friend With Prescription Addiction at Northpoint

Helping a friend with prescription drug addiction is not always simple or straightforward. However, your efforts may pay both short- and long-term dividends. Want to know more about how you can support your affected loved one? Contact the recovery experts at Northpoint Colorado. We’re happy to provide you with helpful advice. We can also offer customized support for your friend’s gradual return to sobriety and a functional lifestyle. Call us today at 888.231.1281 or complete our brief online message form.