Following the release of the new ‘Elvis’ movie, searches for ‘Elvis Addiction’ has increased by 148% worldwide.
The film shines a light on Presley’s battles with drug and alcohol addiction which eventually destroyed his life.
One of his addictions was prescription drugs, being a long-time abuser of opiates and other harmful substances.
A spokesperson for Delamere expresses the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.
“Prescription drug abuse and addiction, if left untreated, invariably gets progressively worse. The longer and more severe the abuse and addiction lasts, the more severe the long-term effects become.
“Long-term effects of prescription drug misuse are the same as any kind of substance misuse- even when the addiction relates to a genuine prescription.
“It seems big celebrities like Elvis Presley are more susceptible to addiction. This may be because of the unstructured, inactive lives they lead, with a lot of traveling, hanging around, and free time and not to mention their healthy finances.
“Whilst many people think prescription drugs are less harmful than illegal drugs, the long-term effects can be just as devastatingly destructive.
“Long-term effects can include; physical and mental health problems that are not resolved by stopping the prescription drugs, distrust and suspicion from family and friends, breakdown of once meaningful relationships, financial hardship and debt, job loss or inability to work and long-lasting social implications.”
Below, experts highlight the key signs to look out for when identifying a prescription drug addiction:
Intoxication: Depending on the drug, prescription drug intoxication may make them very drowsy, have difficulty staying awake, slurred or slowed speech, and difficult to engage with, OR full of energy, confident, and unusually chatty.
Mixing prescription drugs with alcohol, medications, or other drugs: Those that abuse prescription drugs will be aiming to get ‘high’. They may achieve the high they are seeking by combing prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs.
Taking prescription drugs that do not belong to them: Sourcing prescription drugs from the internet, family, friends or a street dealer.
Binging on prescription drugs: Abuse of drugs includes binging on them. The individual may save up on prescription drugs so that they can take them all in one go or over a short period.
Changes in weight and appearance: Abusing prescription drugs can lead to weight loss/gain and loss of interest in appearance.
Changing the route of administration: One form of prescription drug abuse is to change the route of administration other than prescribed. This may include crushing and snorting tablets or injecting an oral solution.
“The earlier a prescription drug addiction is treated the better. The longer it is left the more complex the consequences and the more ingrained the behaviors associated with prescription drug abuse and addiction become.
“The good news is that prescription drug abuse and addiction are treatable. The cycle of addiction can be broken and once treated recovery can be maintained.”