Is It Time to Get Help?
Are you concerned that you or someone you care about is abusing prescription drugs? Answer these 20 questions to find out whether it’s time to get professional help.
- Has your doctor, spouse or anyone else expressed concern about your use of prescription medication?
- Have you ever decided to stop taking pills only to find yourself taking them again?
- Do you ever feel remorse or concern about the pills you are taking?
- Has your life been negatively affected since you started taking pills?
- Do you carry pills in your purse or pocket, or have some hidden “just in case?”
- Have you ever been treated by a physician or hospital for excessive use of pills?
- Have you changed doctors or drug stores for the purpose of maintaining your supply?
- Have you received the same prescription from two or more physicians or druggists at approximately the same time?
- Have you ever been turned down for a refill for non-monetary reasons?
- Have you taken the same mind- or mood-affecting medication for more than a year but still suffer from the same symptoms?
- Have you ever informed your physician as to which pill works best at which dosage and asked them to adjust the prescription to your recommendations?
- Have you used a tranquilizer or sleep medication for a period of months or years with no improvement in the problem?
- Have you increased the dosage, strength or frequency of your medication over the past months or years?
- Do you obsess about your medication, worrying about refills long before running out?
- Do you become annoyed or uncomfortable when others talk about your use of medications?
- Have you or anyone else noticed a change of personality when you take your medication or when you stop taking it, when that is not an intended effect?
- Have you ever taken your medication in anticipation of an associated symptom?
- Have you ever been embarrassed by your behavior when you are under the influence of your prescription drug(s)?
- Do you ever sneak or hide your pills?
- Do you find it impossible to stop or to go for a prolonged period without your pills?
If you answered YES to three or more of these questions, you may be at serious risk of having a problem. The good news is that treatment is available so that you can get your prescription drug addiction under control.
(Reprinted and slightly adapted from There's More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking, by Dr. Paul O.)