Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Credit Card Debt and Prescription Drug Abuse

Credit Card Debt and Prescription Drug AbuseStress and addiction are closely related. Few things cause stress as greatly as insurmountable credit card debt: people facing interest rates and payments they cannot afford experience anxiety, depression, anger-management issues and impulse control disorders. However, one dose of a prescription painkiller may give the brain such a strong, short-lived break from these symptoms that the user may be unable to quit.

Prescription Drugs and Addiction

The most commonly abused prescription drugs are narcotic painkillers and psychotropic benzodiazepines, but there are other addictive medications, including Adderall and other stimulants as well as sleep aids. People under financial duress commonly abuse alcohol, but the underlying addictive patterns and treatments are similar regardless of the drug being discussed. The root of anxiety from addiction is in the emotional core or reward center of the brain. This is an area of the prefrontal cortex that manages the following functions:

  • The formation of behavioral patterns (habits)
  • Coping with anxiety and stress
  • The formation and recall of memories
  • Impulse control rewards
  • Motivation to exercise and work
  • Romantic and sexual attraction and response
  • The ability to manage emotions

Chronic credit card debt is often rooted in several aspects of a person’s psychological makeup. For instance, an impulse disorder may have driven someone to spend money he didn’t have on something he wanted. When he felt stressed or anxious, he may have continued spending money because of the subtle reward he felt. These people often experience relationship problems as a result of their debt. Painkillers and antidepressants directly impact this area of the brain by blocking underlying symptoms for a short time. The brain recognizes this relief and demands it be repeated, even when the rational mind says no.

Comprehensive Treatment for Debt and Addiction

If left untreated, these mutually propagating conditions lead to financial ruin, legal problems, physical illness, depression and even death. No debt is worth that. Successful treatment most often involves comprehensive, inpatient treatment that empowers addict to take the following actions:

  • Safely detox from both the drugs and the compulsive behaviors that caused the debt
  • Learn coping and avoidance skills that enable continued sobriety
  • Developing healthy spending habits and skills to manage emotions
  • Build a reasonable pay-off plan with the help of financial advisors or credit counselors
  • Establish a plan for financial accountability following treatment

Many recovery programs offer financial training alongside addiction education and support.

Free Help for Debt and Addiction

If you face mounting credit card bills and anxiety as a result of substance abuse, then please call our toll-free helpline right away. Our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day with real answers to help you break free. Don’t let debt drive you to an early grave, as prescription medication addiction is deadly. Call right now and let us help you build a healthy new future.

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