Am I Addicted to Prescription Drugs? How Can I Quit Safely?
If you’ve been using prescription drugs in a way that was not intended by your doctor, then it is possible that you are dependent on them, and dependency often leads to addiction. While addiction can be frightening, the good news is there’s plenty of help available to you to break the cycle of addiction. Knowing the signs and symptoms of addiction to prescription drugs can help you determine what kind of help you need.
Signs of Addiction
If you are using prescription drugs that were not prescribed to you, that is a strong sign that you may be addicted. If you have been prescribed the drug you are taking but are now using it in larger quantities than you were prescribed or for reasons other than why the doctor prescribed it, you may be addicted. A strong indicator that you are addicted to prescription drugs is if you go from doctor to doctor in an effort to get more prescriptions for the drug.
Behavioral changes can also signal dependency. If your personality has been changing and you don’t enjoy things you used to enjoy, your prescription drug use may be to blame. Sometimes, when people are addicted to a prescription drug, they will neglect their personal hygiene or appear to have glazed or red eyes. Those addicted to drugs may neglect important responsibilities in order to spend more time using. For example, those addicted to drugs are more likely to call in sick to work or fail to take care of daily chores.
Those who are abusing prescription drugs may have periods of time that they can’t remember, called blackouts. If you can’t remember events that happened recently or conversations that you had, you may be addicted to prescription drugs. Another warning sign is if you continue to use the drug after the pain or illness has gone away.
Prescription drug addiction is one of the most common addictions in the United States, and it affects people of all social and economic groups. Drug abuse or addiction is a disease, and it is nothing to feel ashamed of. It is important to get drug or alcohol treatment when you realize that you are dependent on a drug so you can break the addiction and reclaim your life.
Remember, not every person who becomes dependent on a substance is addicted to it. Dependence just means that your body has become used to the drug and expects it. If you don’t take it, you may experience drug withdrawal symptoms. Dependency can happen to anybody. It is different from addiction because those who are addicted will seek the drug even after detoxing from it.
Furthermore, just because you need an increasing dose of medication to control your pain does not mean that you are addicted. You may need an increased dose because the underlying issue that is causing your pain is worsening. Don’t avoid taking prescription drugs because of an unfounded fear of addiction. Talk to your doctor—if you are in pain, it is important that the pain is managed. Most people who take prescription drugs do not become addicted to them. If you are becoming dependent on a drug you are taking for pain, talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor may be able to prescribed alternative medication or look into other methods of getting you pain relief.
Some people think that if you’re addicted to a prescription drug you should be able to just stop and not take it anymore, but that isn’t true. It can be very difficult to stop taking the drug cold turkey and, for some drugs, withdrawal can even be dangerous. Therefore, the safest way to rid your system of the drug is to go to a detox program run by medical professionals who will care for you while you go through withdrawal.
After you detox, you can participate in different types of therapy to help you overcome your addiction and avoid relapsing. You may go to an inpatient treatment center, where you will have round-the-clock access to therapists and doctors. You might select an outpatient treatment center, where you can get treatment during the day but return to your own home at night, or you might simply work with a therapist individually after you leave detox.
Addiction is a common concern for anyone who is been prescribed drugs to deal with a medical condition. Fortunately, most people who take prescription drugs don’t become addicted. Additionally, plenty of help is available if you do become dependent on or addicted to prescription drugs. Our advisors on our toll-free help line can answer any questions you have about insurance and help you connect with a drug or alcohol treatment center that’ll be a good fit. Call for free at when you’re ready.