Is My Friend Addicted to Their Meds?

Addiction can manifest in many forms, and medication addiction is a growing concern in today’s society. If you suspect your friend might be addicted to their meds, it’s crucial to understand the signs and take appropriate action. At 12 South Recovery, located in Orange County, CA, we specialize in providing comprehensive addiction treatment programs that cater to individual needs with advanced treatment options and exceptional care. This blog will help you recognize the signs of medication addiction, understand the available treatment programs at 12 South Recovery, and offer tips and support options for helping your friend.

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What Are The Signs of Medication Addiction

Physical and Behavioral Changes

One of the first steps in identifying medication addiction is observing any physical or behavioral changes in your friend. Common signs include increased tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect, indicating that the body is becoming accustomed to the medication. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, headaches, or irritability when not using the medication can vary in intensity and may include sweating, shaking, or more severe physical reactions depending on the medication involved. Changes in appearance, like noticeable weight loss or gain, poor hygiene, or frequent illness, can also be indicators. Your friend might look more tired or sickly and may neglect their personal grooming.

Erratic behavior, including mood swings, aggression, or unusual secrecy, is another sign. They might become defensive or hostile when questioned about their medication use and may exhibit paranoid behavior. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping, can also be a sign, as medication misuse can disrupt normal sleep patterns, leading to either a lack of sleep or the need to sleep excessively. Increased doctor visits or pharmacy trips might indicate “doctor shopping,” where they frequently visit different doctors or pharmacies to obtain more medication. Cravings, or an intense desire or urge to take the medication even when it’s not needed for its intended medical purpose, are also common.

Social and Psychological Indicators

Medication addiction also impacts social interactions and mental health. Look for isolation, where your friend avoids friends and family and loses interest in activities they once enjoyed. They might prefer to spend time alone or with a new group of friends who also misuse medications. Neglecting responsibilities is another sign, with poor performance at work or school and neglecting household duties. They may miss important deadlines, fail to show up for work or school, and generally exhibit a lack of motivation.

Financial problems, such as unexplained expenses or borrowing money frequently, can indicate that they are spending a significant amount of money on obtaining medications, leading to financial strain or asking for loans without clear reasons. Mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, or paranoia, can seem to worsen over time. Medication misuse can exacerbate underlying mental health conditions or create new psychological problems, leading to a cycle of worsening symptoms.

Legal troubles, such as engaging in illegal activities to obtain medication (e.g., forging prescriptions or stealing), can result in run-ins with the law and additional stress. Relationship problems with family, friends, or colleagues can arise, with frequent conflicts, trust issues, and breakdowns in communication. Denial and defensiveness, where they refuse to acknowledge the problem or become defensive when confronted, are also common. They might make excuses for their behavior or downplay the severity of their addiction.

Tips and Support Options for Helping Your Friend

Open Communication

Approaching a friend about their potential addiction can be challenging. Choose the right time and place to ensure privacy and a calm environment for the conversation. Be compassionate and express concern without judgment or blame. Use “I” statements to focus on your observations and feelings, such as “I’ve noticed you’ve been acting differently.”

Encourage Professional Help

Encouraging your friend to seek professional help is crucial. Provide information about 12 South Recovery and its programs. Offer to assist by helping them research treatment options, making appointments, or accompanying them to consultations. Be supportive and reassure them that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential to protect your well-being and support your friend’s recovery. Establish clear limits on what behaviors you will and won’t tolerate, and consistently enforce these boundaries. Encourage accountability by helping your friend take responsibility for their actions.

12 South Recovery Treatment Programs

Substance Abuse Detox

Detoxification is the first crucial step in the journey to recovery. At 12 South Recovery, we offer medically supervised detox programs designed to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and cleanse the body of addictive substances. Our detox programs include:

  • 24/7 medical supervision: Ensuring patient safety and comfort throughout the detox process.
  • Customized detox plans: Tailored to individual needs, considering the type and severity of addiction.
  • Supportive environment: Providing emotional and psychological support to ease the transition into sobriety.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is ideal for individuals who require structured treatment but wish to maintain their daily responsibilities. The IOP at 12 South Recovery includes:

  • Flexible scheduling: Allowing patients to attend treatment sessions while managing work, school, or family obligations.
  • Comprehensive therapy: Offering individual, group, and family counseling sessions.
  • Skill-building workshops: Teaching coping strategies, stress management, and relapse prevention techniques.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

For those needing more intensive care, our Partial Hospitalization Program provides a higher level of support without requiring overnight stays. PHP features:

  • Structured daily programs: Involving multiple therapy sessions, medical monitoring, and holistic treatments.
  • Therapeutic community: Encouraging peer support and shared experiences to foster a sense of belonging.
  • Transitional support: Preparing patients for a smooth transition to lower levels of care or independent living.

Aftercare Services

Recovery is an ongoing process, and our aftercare services ensure continued support and guidance. Aftercare at 12 South Recovery includes:

  • Continued therapy: Regular counseling sessions to address ongoing challenges and reinforce coping mechanisms.
  • Support groups: Peer-led groups provide a network of support and shared experiences.
  • Relapse prevention planning: Developing personalized plans to manage triggers and prevent relapse.


Recognizing and addressing medication addiction in a friend can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential step toward helping them regain control of their life. At 12 South Recovery, we offer a range of comprehensive treatment programs designed to meet individual needs with advanced options and exceptional care. By understanding the signs of addiction and providing compassionate support, you can play a vital role in your friend’s recovery journey. If you found this blog helpful, please share it with others or contact our team for more information and assistance.


At 12 South Recovery, we aim to help restore balance to every area of life – treating the mind, body and spirit so our clients are able to find lasting recovery from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Our unique Treatment Programs aim to address both addiction and the underlying causes.

Contact 12 South Recovery at 866-839-6876 today.

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