Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Chronic Pain Problem and Prescription Drug Dependence Help

Chronic Pain Problem and Prescription Drug Dependence HelpThe majority of addictions to prescription pain relievers occur after a patient begins using medication to treat pain associated with a surgery, injury or other traumatic event. These patients become candidates for addiction when they continue to use of their prescription medications after their pain has subsided. In this sense, their temporary need for pain relief becomes a gateway for drug dependency.

While the use of prescription pain relievers for temporary relief can be dangerous and create the potential for abuse and dependency, patients who have a legitimate need for long-term relief of chronic pain are at an even higher risk for the effects of tolerance, dependency and addiction. These patients live in between the extremes of two worlds. They are essentially asked to choose between daily pain and the dangerous potential for addiction associated with the long-term use of prescription drugs.

This situation is not only isolated to medications that relieve pain. Generally speaking, antidepressants, stress-relievers and many other substances designed to combat symptoms of anxiety disorders, epilepsy and insomnia carry the potential for tolerance, dependency and addiction when used for long periods of time.

How to Spot a Prescription Medication Addiction

If you have been using a prescription medication for prolonged periods of time, for legitimate purposes and you suspect that you may be at risk for addiction, you may be wondering how to differentiate between dependency and your legitimate need for the drug. While prescription drugs affect each person differently, there are a few scenarios that occur across the spectrum of drug addiction.

The first and most obvious sign that you may be at risk for addiction are the effects of drug tolerance. Tolerance can be defined as the situation in which your regular dosage amount has a diminished effect. This is due in part to your body’s ability to counteract the chemicals present in your prescription substance. In other words, the more you use your prescription medications, the more you will need to use them to produce the same effects.

Tolerance is usually followed by dependency, which can be defined as the situation in which you may begin to need and want consistent doses of your prescription medications to maintain normal function throughout the day. This can be tricky when referring to users with chronic pain as the symptoms of drug dependency can often mimic the legitimate purposes for which their medication was originally prescribed.

Help for Addiction to Prescription Medication

If you suspect that you are becoming a candidate for addiction to your prescription medications, we can help. We are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to answer any questions you may have and provide you with quality options for rehab. We can work closely with your doctor and insurer to provide you with the best possible chance for long-term success. Please give us a call today; we look forward to hearing from you.

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