For many individuals addicted to painkillers and other prescription drugs, the hardest part is coming to grips with the fact that they have a problem at all. In fact, denial that there is a problem is one of the biggest roadblocks in seeking help.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself about your prescription drug use. If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, it is time to stop denying that you have a problem and start to consider getting help.

Questions about your use of prescription medication.

  • Have you ever taken medication for reasons other than what it was prescribed for by a doctor?
  • Have you ever lied to a doctor about a condition in order to receive a prescription?
  • Have you ever sold any of your possession in order to pay for prescription drugs?
  • Do you become cranky or irritable when you are not taking the drugs?
  • Have you lied to your spouse or family members about your drug use?
  • Have you ever stolen medication out of another person’s medicine cabinet?
  • Do you try to stop taking the drugs, but it never lasts long?
  • Are you unable to stop taking the drug without craving more?
  • Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stopped taking the medication?
  • Do you find that it makes more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effects (the “high”)?
  • Have you ever missed work or school because of your drug use?
  • Have you ever had suicidal thoughts as a result of the shame you feel about your drug use?
  • Have you ever been violent or confrontational with a loved one because they confronted you about your drug use?
  • Have you ever neglected your children or missed one of their activities because of drug use?
  • Do you dread the thought of trying to make it through the day without using prescription medication?
  • Have you continued to use prescription medications even though you have been “caught” by your spouse and he or she has threatened to leave you if you do it again?

So remember, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you may indeed be addicted to prescription drugs and should seek out professional help immediately. If you suspect that someone you know may be misusing prescription medication, find a way to see if any of the questions above hold true for them as well. Many individuals who have a drug addiction to prescription meds will never admit they have a problem or seek out help on their own. That is why it is so important for friends and family understand how to identify whether or not a problem exists, and then take an active role getting them help.