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Substance Abuse and Family Law (4 of 4)

16. Pain that Never Ends
Prescription drug addiction is one of the most common kinds of addiction. Abusers learn many different tricks for getting their pills. Back pain is one of the most common symptoms used to get pain medications because it is nondescript and hard to prove. It is also fairly easy to fake. If a young, healthy person claims to be suffering from chronic back pain and asks for narcotic pain medications, watch closely. Another tactic is going to more than one doctor and getting prescriptions for the same kinds of drugs. If a person says they cannot take NSAIDS, that is a red flag because the only thing left is a narcotic painkiller.

17. Sickness without a Cause
When people are abusing alcohol or drugs, they tend not to feel well much of the time. So, frequent vague illnesses can be a sign that something is wrong. They may also be using sickness as a reason to skip work. There are usually many different explanations which are difficult to prove or disprove. Also, low energy, fatigue and depression that all comes on suddenly without reason may be caused by withdrawal from the drug. Withdrawal sympoms can also be accompanied by irritability and flashes of anger.

18. Paranoia and Panic Attacks
Paranoia attacks are a well-known problem for anyone who has smoked pot. They are also a common side effect of many other drugs and alcohol. Stimulants can also cause panic attacks. These problems are often temporary, but the drugs or alcohol can actually change a person’s personality. Cocaine, in particular, alters the brain and can cause a variety of psychological problems, including paranoia. Drug or alcohol abusers may develop social anxiety, feel nervous and anxious in public situations and avoid them whenever possible.


19. The Storyteller
Not surprisingly, someone who dramatically proclaims that they have not had a drink in two weeks is probably an alcoholic. Telling stories to yourself and others is a natural reaction for someone who cannot admit that they have a drinking problem. Even more frustrating, they may not even realize they are telling stories. Drugs and alcohol can cause memory lapses or blackouts. The lies can also affect bosses, doctors, cops and anyone else in the person’s life. Prescription drug abusers often take a family member, such as a child or an aging parent, to the doctor to try to get a prescription that they actually intend for themselves.

20. The Blame Game
There is often a craziness that overtakes a family when a person is abusing drugs and alcohol – it can seem like a contageous disease. This can happen because the need to deny the addiction leads to an epidemic of blame. This increases the conflict level and the family can feel like a war zone. But, the conflict is never the fault of the alcoholic or addict.

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