Most of us take painkillers from time to time. When you’ve got a headache, and it won’t shift, it’s normal to reach for the medicine cabinet. But what happens if you resort to taking prescription medication on a regular basis, or you start to feel like you can’t cope without it? If you’ve been using prescription drugs for a long time, ask yourself whether your painkillers are doing more harm than good.
Prescription drug addiction
When you feel unwell, or you’re suffering from pain, your doctor may prescribe you some drugs. In most cases, tablets are a temporary means of reducing symptoms and making you feel better. For many of us, we take a tablet and think nothing of it. But for some, using prescription drugs can become an addiction. You may have an urge to take a higher dose or continue treatment when you don’t need to. As you continue to take medication, your body becomes increasingly dependent on it. This can result in withdrawal symptoms when you go without.
Most commonly, drug addictions relate to painkillers and opiates. Painkillers are used to treat both acute and chronic pain. You can buy mild analgesics over the counter. But the tablets you get from your doctor are often more powerful. Opiates can also provide painkilling properties. But they also make you feel better. If you’re struggling with pain or you’re finding life difficult, the feeling opiates give you may become addictive.
The longer you continue to take prescription medication, the higher the risk of addiction. Your body will get used to a daily dose and it will need more to achieve the desired effect.
Potential signs of prescription drug abuse include:
- Taking higher doses than recommended
- Ordering drugs online
- Asking others to buy drugs for you
- Visiting different drug stores
- Taking risks when under the influence of drugs
- Lying about your drug taking
- Spending more and more money on drugs
- Becoming defensive when others express concern or ask questions
Tackling prescription medication addiction
Tackling drug addiction can be very difficult, especially as prescription drugs are legal. If you need help with prescription drug abuse, your first port of call should be your doctor. There are also some excellent charities and support groups around. You may also find it beneficial to talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have recovered from drug addiction. Medication, psychological therapies, and drug rehab are effective options. Everyone is different, and some people respond to certain techniques better than others. Treatment can take a long time, but there is every chance of success if you have the right support around you. Rehab and treatment centers are often recommended for severe addictions. They enable you to access 24-hour care and the best treatment facilities.
Most of us take painkillers without a second thought. It’s perfectly normal to take a tablet if you’re feeling unwell, but it’s wise to be alert to the dangers of drug addiction. It’s possible for anyone to get addicted to prescription drugs. If you notice yourself thinking about drugs all the time, or you feel like you need to have medicine, see your doctor. Often, it’s best to intervene early.