Signs & Symptoms of an Addiction to Pain Killers

Signs & Symptoms of an Addiction to Pain Killers
Signs & Symptoms of an Addiction to Pain Killers (Image: Andrzej Gdula)

Painkiller addiction causes people to use prescription pain medication compulsively. According to MedicineNet, addiction to painkillers usually produces negative effects in the users' personal health, family, friendships and career.

Dosage Increase

Family and friends may notice people addicted to painkillers taking their medication more often, increasing the dosage and continuing the medication for extended periods of time. People who become dependent may complain of feeling pain in spite of taking pain relievers, and may visit numerous doctors to obtain more prescriptions.

Personality Changes

Chemical dependency on painkillers can produce personality changes and mood swings. People addicted to painkillers may have trouble concentrating on anything other than medication, and may become irritable if they can't get it.

Changes in Daily Routine

Addicts may stop keeping up their personal appearance. They also may alter eating and sleeping habits as they become unconcerned with their personal health or anything unrelated to feeding their addiction to painkillers.


Painkiller addiction may cause addicts to withdraw from social situations. They may avoid friends and family to avoid having their problem detected. Addicts also may disregard their normal responsibilities in order to focus on obtaining painkillers.


Some people become overly sensitive to sounds and bright lights due to painkiller addiction. Emotional stimulation may be overwhelming to addicted people. They may get extremely defensive if they're worried about friends and family discovering their addiction.


Addiction to prescription painkillers may cause forgetfulness and confusion. Addicts may even experience blackouts, completely forgetting events during the blackout period.

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