Do I have a prescription drug addiction?
Prescription drug addiction is one that can start off innocently enough, with a trip to the GP. Nearly everyone trusts their GP to know what is best for them, and will usually take what is prescribed without question. This is particularly true in the case of chronic pain, as the person will do whatever it takes to relieve the pain. However, it is important to remember that the effects of prescription painkillers are chemically similar to heroin, and equally as addictive.
This is not me saying that everyone should discount what their doctor is saying, or even that people in pain should learn to manage without medication; I am merely urging people to be aware of the potential for addiction and to approach with caution. It is easy to develop a tolerance to prescription medication, particularly those from the opiate family, meaning that higher and higher dosages are required to achieve the same effect. In addition, the person may begin to experiences cravings and strong urges to use the medication, which begins to cause psychological dependence as well as physical. The feeling of euphoria gained from certain medications can be one that the person strives to achieve more and more often.
One of the main difficulties in addiction to painkillers is that one of the withdrawal symptoms is intense pain. Therefore, it creates a vicious circle; the person will need more and more medication to manage the pain, and each time they cut down, they will experience more pain. Some signs that indicate prescription addiction include changes in personality or mood, continued drug addiction even after the condition has cleared up, negative changes in daily habit and appearance, social withdrawal, taking a higher dose than prescribed and visiting multiple doctors to obtain more drugs.
If any of the above symptoms sound like you or someone you love, get in contact with us for help and support in ways to get through this.