Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Loss of Limbs and Prescription Drug Abuse

Loss of Limbs and Prescription Drug AbuseLosing a limb at any point in life is an extremely difficult experience that can result in a great deal of both physical and emotional pain. Limb loss can be caused by a variety of events, the most common being: dysvascular-related amputations (caused by blood vessel problems, diabetes, etc.), cancer, trauma-related events, or congenital issues found at birth.

The recovery process is a difficult path for those who have lost a limb no matter what the cause. The physical impairment can cause major obstacles for the individual and result in a number of serious issues, such as prescription drug abuse and addiction. Here’s how:

  • A limb amputation is a major physical procedure accompanied by severe pain. This physical pain and discomfort can be experienced long after the amputation. Powerful prescription medications are used to aid the recovery process and alleviate the grueling sensation of pain and discomfort. Over time this pain can be overbearing and cause an individual to self-medicate or abuse prescription pain medication. In some cases, the pain will be chronic and instead of finding non-addictive medications or other treatment options a doctor may continue over-prescribing powerful prescription drugs, causing the patient to develop a tolerance and ultimately an addiction.
  • The recovery process from a limb amputation is long and rehab requires hard work. An individual can feel a great deal of pressure to recovery quickly, return to daily activities, regain independence, and accomplish the goals of physical therapy. To cope with the stress, many individuals use prescription drugs to numb these feelings and push themselves harder in recovery.
  • Losing a limb is an emotionally painful experience. An individual can feel like their entire life will change after losing a part of their body. Humans have a natural desire to be accepted, and a different physical appearance will cause one to question their appeal. It is tough to accept a new body image and individuals often feel angry, upset, or even embarrassed that they do not look or have the same physical capabilities as they used to. Low self-esteem, self-worth, and body image issues are common for individuals who have lost a limb. Prescription drugs may be abused to cope with the emotional pain caused by losing a limb.
  • The experience of losing a limb can be traumatic. While the amputation can bring about intense grief and sadness, the event that caused the amputation can be difficult to recover from as well. Military combat, a serious illness, vehicle accident, natural disaster, fire, or criminal activities are all common traumatic experiences that contribute to limb amputation. These horrific events can bring about so much physical and psychological trauma that an individual may develop any of the following:
    • Depression
    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    • Anxiety issues
    • Nightmares
    • Dissociation disorders

Instead of dealing with these issues many individuals attempt to numb their symptoms with drugs or alcohol.

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse Resulting from Limb Amputation

If limb amputation has affected you or a loved one’s life and led to a problem with prescription drug abuse, we are here to help. Please call our toll-free number now to speak with a recovery professional about your options for drug abuse treatment and recovery. Our recovery professionals are dedicated to finding treatment services unique to the individual and we can do that for you. If you are ready to find drug abuse help now, our recovery professionals are here 24 hours a day to assist you with all of your questions, concerns, and needs. Every day is a gift; don’t waste one more minute on addiction.

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