JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It starts off so innocently. Your back hurts. You have dental work. You're uptight. So the doctor writes you a prescription.
Trouble is, for some people, the pills hijack their brains and in a matter of weeks they're addicted. Then you have a beast on your hands.
First Coast News and anchor Jeannie Blaylock are taking a look at prescription pill addiction in a multi-part series called, "Beast In a Bottle."
We'll be hearing from local folks who got in over their heads. Some are soccer moms, scout leaders and other ordinary people who never intended to get hooked. After all, the medicine came from their doctors.
So do you know the six warning signs that you or somebody you care about is getting addicted?
The following information comes from addiction experts in Jacksonville, Dr. John Tanner and Dr. Ray Pomm. Their contact information is coming up in this article.
#1 -- You start keeping your pills a secret.
#2 -- You go to bed thinking about your next pill. Where will you get it? How? When? What will it feel like?
#3 --The pills aren't about pain anymore. You like the feeling. All of the sudden you feel good about yourself. You can clean the house and stay up to 2 a.m. without being tired, for example.
#4 -- You lie to a doctor to get more pills. One woman tells us she would tell her doctor her pills were in her robe and her dog ate them. The doctor believed her.
#5 -- You start thinking, "Oh, I'll just have another." It feels good and one or a few more can't hurt.
#6 -- You'd rather take your pills than do routine activities, such as taking a bath or a shower.
Another key warning sign that says you're into addiction is getting into trouble two times in 24 months over pills. Maybe your boss suspends you or your family fights with you and threatens to kick you out of the house.
If you are worried you are slipping into addiction or you see these signs in someone you love, get help now, experts say.
Experts suggest going to this link:
Click the "search for help" box. Enter "substance abuse" in the search box and you are there.
River Region and Gateway are two places on the First Coast which offer help, even when a patient can't pay.
Wekiva Springs is a another option, especially for paying patients. http://www.wekivacenter.com/
Watch for more Beast In a Bottle segments on First Coast News.
Friday, February 22, we'll have a phone panel of experts between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. you can call for free advice. The number will be 904-633-8817.
If you want to share your story email Jeannie Blaylock: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find her on Twitter: @jeannieblaylock
First Coast News