Spot the signs to addiction
Many people don't realise they are becoming addicted to pain medication.
Signs to look out for:
- You’ve been taking the medication for more than 3 months.
- You are regularly taking the maximum dose or more than your prescribed dose.
- You don’t feel like yourself.
- You experience unpleasant side effects or withdrawal symptoms when you miss or reduce your dose.
- These could include anxiety, nausea, headaches, hallucinations or difficulty concentrating.
- You watch the clock, waiting until you can take your next dose does the thought of missing one causes anxiety?
- You might be buying it illegally or taking medication that has been prescribed to others.
- You visit different doctors or pharmacists to try and get extra medication.
- You get angry or upset when someone mentions how much medication you’re taking or how often you’re taking it.
If you recognise any of these signs then you might be becoming dependant on pain medication. Contact a pharmacist or GP at your practice to talk about alternative ways to manage your pain.Book a review
“There are other options to pain medication”Dr Clare Bradford, Sunderland
If you feel dependant on pain medication and you’re worried about side effects talk to somebody you trust.
Worried about yourself?
If you’re concerned you might be becoming dependent on pain medication, don’t ignore it. Book a pain review with a pharmacist or GP at your practice.
Speak to someone close to you about how you’re feeling, they might have no idea you’re struggling.
Never suddenly stop taking your medication, this can be extremely dangerous. Discuss with your pharmacist or GP how to gradually reduce your dose.
Worried about someone else?
If you’re worried that someone you know could be dependent on pain medication try talking to the person about your concerns and offer your support without judging them.
Let them know that you’re happy to listen if they want to talk about how they’re feeling.
Encourage them to contact their pharmacist or GP about other ways to manage their pain and offer to go with them next time they have an appointment.Help and Support
Have you been on pain medication for more than 3 months?
It’s time to book a pain review with a pharmacist or GP at your practice.Book a review
Are you a healthcare professional?
Help us raise awareness of the potential dangers of prescription pain medication.Campaign resources