Question

Substance Abuse and Addiction

How can I tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs?

A Answers (3)

  • ACharles Sophy, MD, Psychiatry, answered

    You can tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs by watching his/her behavior. Most addicts look dazed and confused. They appear "out of it." Some of the symptoms of prescription drug addiction may include: 

    • a shift to not wanting to be around others or attend social functions 
    • difficulty paying attention and remembering 
    • not enjoying activities that were formerly enjoyed
    • chronic pain or multiple injuries over time requiring a continuous supply of medication
    • asking others for their leftover medications 
    • often taking family members’ prescriptions 
    • use of multiple physicians and pharmacies to cover up the amount and frequency of prescription medication use 
    • past history of addictive behaviors (e.g., alcoholism) 
    • feigning physical or psychological problems 
    • having dramatic and compelling but vague complaints 
    • unconcerned with a diagnosis or keeping up with treatment in addition to the medication (i.e., missing appointments for x-rays, laboratory tests, or follow-up with another physician) 
    • rejection of all forms of treatment other than medication
  • AJulie Holland, MD, Psychiatry, answered
    Dr. Julie Holland - How can I tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs?

    Watch as psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr. Julie Holland explains some physical symptoms that may indicate that someone is addicted to presecription drugs.


  • You can tell if someone is addicted to prescription drugs by watching his/her behavior. Most addicts look dazed and confused. They appear "out of it."
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