Drug and Alcohol - Dual Diagnosis

How to Tell if I’m Addicted to Prescriptions (Benzos and Amphetamines)

Prescription drugs like benzodiazepines and amphetamines help people live normal lives, but they’re dangerous when abused. The Forge can help.

How to Tell if I’m Addicted to Prescriptions (Benzos and Amphetamines)

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 21, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Studies have found that:

50% of people with severe mental illness also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. This combination is known as a dual diagnosis.

Many mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are treated with benzodiazepines, a wide class of prescription tranquilizers.

Unfortunately, someone taking benzos or amphetamines is more prone to addiction, as the drugs themselves are both addictive and easily abused. Ensuring that benzos and amphetamines are used as prescribed and additional therapies is key to ensuring that the individual does not become addicted to their prescription.

Sometimes it can be challenging to realize a problem, especially if an individual is dependent on a drug they are supposed to have. If someone is searching for the warning signs of addiction, that’s in and of itself a warning sign. If an individual believes they are addicted to prescription drugs, it is vital to look for warning signs and ask for help. 

What Are Benzos and Amphetamines?

Benzodiazepines (benzos) and amphetamines are prescription drugs prescribed for various mental health conditions. 

  • Benzos: Benzos are a sedative typically used to treat people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety.

  • Amphetamines: Amphetamines are a stimulant meant to help regulate Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. These drugs are often abused as “study drugs,” wrongly thought to give students an upper hand for exams and studying.

These medications, when used appropriately, can help alleviate the symptoms of someone's mental health condition, increasing their quality of life. These substances are also highly addictive. 

Understanding Addiction to Benzos and Amphetamines

Benzos and amphetamines affect different parts of the body, meaning that symptoms of addiction can vary. Benzos can often make someone tired due to their sedating effects. Drowsiness will often be accompanied by: 

  • Blurred vision 

  • Weakness 

  • Poor judgment 

For amphetamines, it can be a lot harder to see the physical and psychological symptoms of addiction as they can resemble the symptoms of ADHD. However, key symptoms one should look for are: 

  • Insomnia

  • Lack of appetite 

There are three behaviors, whether an individual is addicted to benzos or amphetamines, that are indicative of prescription drug abuse: 

#1. Asking Friends for Their Prescriptions

Since benzos and amphetamines are prescription drugs, a person does not always need to go to the street to find them. More often, they will have other people who have also been prescribed these drugs. If an individual is abusing their prescription, they will be desperate to access more of the medication as they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Such behavior is a sign of dependency. 

#2. Doctor Shopping

Benzos and amphetamines are tightly regulated. People are often only prescribed limited amounts of the drug to prevent abuse. When a person starts abusing prescription drugs, they will usually begin doctor shopping. This behavior is not only alarming because the individual is seeking out more of the drug than what they were prescribed, but this behavior also requires deceit. 

If a doctor knows that an individual already has a prescription they have run out of, they will not provide an additional prescription. This is because if they have run out of pills of an addictive medication, that is a warning sign for most prescribers that the individual may be developing a problem. 

Therefore, individuals will seek out multiple pharmacies to fill the prescriptions to avoid detection to cover up the lie. If an individual wants to engage in doctor shopping, this is a sign that they are addicted to prescription medication. 

#3. Reckless Behavior

Reckless behaviors of those addicted to benzos and amphetamines look different. If a person is dependent on benzos, they may start taking them during the day when they are supposed to be driving or performing other functions while needing to be alert. 

If someone is missing amphetamines, it can present an increase in risky sexual behaviors. The most common reckless behavior in those addicted to benzos or amphetamines is mixing prescriptions with other drugs and alcohol. Using prescription drugs in tandem with other substances is dangerous. It also shows that a person is starting to use the substance recreationally rather than for medical purposes. If an individual finds that they are building a tolerance or using more regularly, this is a sign to get help.

What Do I Do if I'm Addicted?

If a person believes that they are addicted to benzos or amphetamines, they have already taken the first step by recognizing that they have a problem. The next step is asking for help. They should talk to their friends and family about what they are going through so they can support them on their road to recovery. 

Before an individual stops using, they must talk to their doctor to ensure that they detox safely. After talking to a trusted health care provider, they may recommend them to a mental health care professional and a residential or outpatient detox center. Doing so can help individuals get the right treatment they need to recover safely. 

The Forge Recovery Center Effectively Treats Prescription Addiction

Benzos and amphetamines can play an important role in improving your mental health. However, if you have found yourself dependent on prescription drugs, it can impact your relationships, finances, and overall health. Addiction of any kind can turn your life upside down, but that does not mean that you cannot recover and choose a path filled with health, peace, and happiness.

If you are concerned that you may be addicted to benzos or amphetamines and are seeking help, The Forge Recovery Center is more than happy to help provide you with guidance. We are experts at treating addictions, including prescription drugs.

If you need help, get help now. Contact The Forge Recovery Center now.

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