What Are The Signs of Prescription Drug Misuse And Abuse?

Knowing the signs of Prescription drug misuse and abuse can help you identify friends and family who may be abusing medications and help them get assistance. Be observant and seek help early if you suspect your child, friend or loved one may have a problem with prescription drugs. If your child, friend or loved one is misusing or abusing prescription drugs they may exhibit the physical health effects described above, and one or more behavioral signs of abuse below:

  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
  • Lying or being deceitful
  • Borrowing money or having extra cash
  • Unaccounted time away from home/missed school days
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Excessive mood swings, hostility, abusive behavior and negative attitude
  • Engaging in reckless behavior
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • “Munchies” or sudden changes in appetite
  • Extreme changes in groups of friends or hangout locations
  • Poor decision-making
  • Forgetfulness or clumsiness
  • Appearing to be high, unusually energetic or revved up, or sedated
  • Losing interest in personal appearance, extracurricular activities or sports
  • Unusually poor performance in school or other activities
  • Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
  • Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor (“doctor shipping”)
  • Visiting pro-drug websites