Addiction to prescription medication has reached staggering proportions, but you don’t have to become one of its statistics. If you recognize the symptoms of prescription drug addiction, contact a Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for help or advice on what you can do to overcome prescription drug addiction.
What does pain medication and drug abuse have in common? For one thing; prescription drugs. Prescription drug related fatalities seem to be a growing problem for Americans between the ages 55 and older. It is not surprising because chronic pain has always been a factor of the aging population. This dynamic created an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to relieve users and abusers of both pain and money. But who doesn’t want to be pain free? It seemed like a win-win situation for all concerned.
Over time, however, the consistent demand for pain relief has created a society that has little tolerance for any bodily discomfort. The side effects of taking prescription medication to dull or eliminate pain has resulted in chronic dependency and abuse of medicine in order to feel normal. The cycle of drug addiction begins when the user stops using the medication and the withdrawal symptoms kick in. When the need to feel good supersedes rational thinking, use and abuse of medically prescribed drugs or medicine for pain turns into a drug addiction problem.
According to statistics released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkiller deaths such as Vicodin and OxyContin nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2011. Addiction medicine consultant, Dr. Robert Waldman, suggested in an ABC news report that the following strategies may help to tackle the prescription medication problem:
- Prescription monitoring programs
- Limiting the number of pills dispensed
- Making prescriptions opioids harder to get by restricting dispersement only via a hard copy from a physician rather than a call in for refills
The U.S. government is also doing its part in bringing awareness to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revealed its risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for extended-release and long-acting opioids to prevent misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. The process began by educating physicians who prescribe highly addictive painkillers and the patients who take them about the dangers of misuse of prescription medication.
What you can do to help:
a) Use prescription drugs only as directed by your doctor.
b) Always keep your prescription medication in a secure place, especially if you have children and young adults in the home.
c) Do not share your prescription drugs with anyone. Sharing or using someone else’s medication is just as illegal as possession of any other illicit drugs.
d) Regularly count your pills to ensure that no one else is using them.
e) Follow proper procedure to dispose of prescription medication that is no longer needed.
Addiction to prescription medication can have the same deadly consequence as abuse of any illicit drugs. If you suspect that you may have developed an addiction to a prescription drug, call for a consultation with an addiction specialist to find out how you can begin the detox process and the journey of recovery from addiction.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.