Someone may be addicted to painkillers if he takes different dosages than those prescribed by a doctor, thinks about his medication often and obtains painkillers from other sources, according to WebMD. Other warning signs include long-term use of the medication and changes in the patient's personal life.
Patients who are addicted to painkillers often take their medication more frequently or in greater amounts than prescribed by their doctor, as stated by WebMD. Addicted individuals also try to change the time between doses to have greater control over their medication. Patients who are preoccupied with their next dose or who constantly wonder if their supply is enough may also be addicted. Patients frequently go to more than one doctor for a prescription, steal medications or purchase painkillers over the Internet.
Painkillers are generally not meant for chronic pain, so patients who continue using painkillers after an issue has resolved are likely addicted, according to WebMD. Patients may continue taking their medication for reasons other than pain relief, such as physical cravings or comfort. Addicted patients often become moodier than usual, change their eating habits or have less concern about personal hygiene and appearance. They may also skip out on responsibilities or sleep excessively. Anyone who is experiencing painkiller addiction should contact his doctor or an addiction center for help.