Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

How Do I Tell My Doctor I Want to Stop Using My Prescription Drug?

How Do I Tell My Doctor I Want to Stop Using My Prescription Drug?Prescription drug addiction is an increasingly common problem in the US. Millions of people find themselves dependent on their medications physically and psychologically before they even know they are at risk. Full and honest communication with your doctor is essential if addiction is to be avoided.

Risks of Prescription Addiction

There are many prescription drugs that are addictive, but they can generally be broken down into the following types:

  • Psychoactive benzodiazepines
  • Narcotic painkillers
  • Sleep aids
  • Steroids

Though the symptoms vary slightly from group to group, in general these medications create both physical and psychological dependency if used for very long. In the case of sleeping aids addiction can be established in as little as two weeks. Fully one-third of patients using benzodiazepines will become dependent after one month of use. Narcotic addiction can happen even faster. There are many factors that will influence a person’s risk level for prescription addiction including the following:

  • Biological or genetic pre-disposition toward addiction
  • Underlying or co-occurring psychological disorders (anxiety, depression, etc)

Symptoms of Prescription Addiction

As addiction sets in the body and mind will exhibit several symptoms such as the following:

  • Defensiveness when approached about drug use
  • Emotional anxiety when not taking the medication
  • Dishonest behavior related to securing medication
  • Physical pain or general discomfort when not taking the medication
  • Preoccupying obsession with obtaining the drug
  • Lack of interest in previously important activities and relationships

How to Talk with Your Doctor about Prescription Addiction

Open and honest communication with your doctor is essential if prescription addiction is to be avoided or corrected. The psychological effects of the disease may make it difficult to accomplish this as the brain will use any emotional tool at its disposal to keep the medication coming. Make sure to discuss the following with your health care provider with full candor and transparency:

  • Personal and family history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Any emotional or psychological struggles you currently deal with
  • The onset of any current symptoms of dependency

While there are many non-medical treatments available, it is important that you remain under the full care and observation of a doctor when making any changes to your treatment. Many people who decide to stop taking their medication on their own face the return of symptoms that may be even worse than they have experienced previously. This may lead to increased drug abuse or transference to other chemicals as a means of self-medication.

Help for Prescription Addiction

If you are concerned about prescription drug addiction please call our toll-free helpline today. Our specially trained addiction counselors are standing by 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about addiction and treatment. We can help you prepare to talk with your doctor about your concerns and can connect you with the best recovery resources available for your unique needs.
Don’t risk your mental and physical health by taking your treatment into your own hands. Help is available and you should never be ashamed to ask for it. Pick up the phone and let us help you find your way through the maze of prescription drug addiction to a life of freedom and health on the other side.

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