Every day, residents of Illinois deal with the fallout of prescription drug abuse. While it may start innocently enough, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that the overdose deaths involving opioids in Illinois are higher than the national rate. In 2017 alone, over 2,200 people died of a prescription drug overdose. Because these situations can often turn deadly or lead to criminal charges when the abuser gets desperate, it is important that family members and friends know what to watch for when it comes to drug abuse.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of drug abuse differ based on the type of medication that is being abused. Those taking stimulants may seem hyper alert, have high blood pressure and body temperature and show noticeable signs of anxiety, agitation and paranoia. They may also have a reduced appetite and struggle to sleep at night.
Those taking sedatives or anti-anxiety medications will seem confused, drowsy and dizzy at times. They may have slowed breathing, poor concentration and unsteady walking. Opioid abuse causes nausea, constipation, confusion, drowsiness, slowed breathing rate and poor coordination.
Those who are abusing drugs may also take higher doses than prescribed, forge, steal or sell prescriptions, appear unusually revved up or energetic, decrease or increase in sleep and have significant mood swings. When the craving gets too bad and an addict turns to illegal means to obtain the prescription drugs needed to survive, they may be arrested and face criminal convictions that affect the rest of their lives. While it is important to get help when the signs of abuse appear, it is also important to seek the help of a good criminal defense attorney if the situation goes too far.