Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Autoimmune Disorders and Prescription Drug Addiction

Autoimmune Disorders and Prescription Drug AddictionAutoimmune disorders make the body’s immune system attack its own tissues rather than foreign substances. These attacks inflame body parts to produce disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type I diabetes and fibromyalgia. Autoimmune disorders can cause a great deal of pain, as well as joint stiffness and problems controlling blood sugar. Doctors treat autoimmune disorders with anti-inflammatory agents, steroids and prescription painkillers, but patients may become addicted to some of these drugs, especially the painkillers. If you or someone you know struggles with an autoimmune disorder and prescription drug abuse, then seek professional help as soon as possible to begin recovery.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction develops when people increase their dosage after the body needs more of a drug to produce the same results. This can easily happen in someone with an autoimmune disorder, she may eventually experience more pain than she formerly did with a painkiller, so she may take more drugs to function. For someone with an autoimmune disorder, this can mean the difference between doing normal daily tasks and spending the day in bed, so she may not think twice about this practice, but this kind of drug use can lead to addiction. Instead, talk to your doctor about changing your medication.

If you or a loved one struggles with painkiller abuse, look for the following signs of addiction:

  • Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the medication
  • Needing a supply of the drug at all times to feel comfortable
  • Increasing your dosage without consulting your doctor
  • Needing the medication to function
  • Doctor shopping to get new prescriptions

If any of these symptoms are present, you may be developing a prescription drug addiction and need professional help.

Rehab for People with Autoimmune Disorders

Dealing with an addiction while coping with an autoimmune disorder is difficult, but recovery is possible. The drugs that manage your pain may control your life, so you need professional support to manage both issues. Seek a rehab facility that offers medically supervised detox, because it rids the body of drugs safely. Trained medical personnel will help addicts deal with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including pain. After detox, rehab begins. People with autoimmune disorders often struggle with depression because of their pain and the amount of time they feel ill, so a proper diagnosis can determine what therapy someone needs to address her disorder and corresponding symptoms. Struggling with an autoimmune disorder and addiction can be difficult, but you can recover with the right treatment.

Help for Prescription Drug Addiction and an Autoimmune Disorder

If patients manage their pain poorly addiction can result. Seek help if you or a loved one struggles with addiction and an autoimmune disorder. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator who can answer your questions about addiction and help you find appropriate treatment.

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