Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Preventing a Prescription Drug Addiction from Getting Worse

Preventing a Prescription Drug Addiction from Getting WorsePrescription drug abuse is a nationwide problem that affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. It is defined by the following criteria:

  • Using a medication without a prescription
  • Using a medication in a way other than prescribed
  • Using a medication for its recreational effects

Some individuals become addicted to prescription drugs because they illegally misuse medications in order to get high. Others become accidentally addicted after a doctor gives a legitimate prescription following surgery or injury.

Regardless of the initial reason for use, people who take prescription drugs for an extended time or at high doses can become dependent. Dependence may develop over months or within weeks, depending on individual tolerance. It is defined by the following conditions:

  • Growing tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Inability to stop taking the drug
  • Increasing drug use and dosage over time
  • Obsession with the drug

When drug dependence continues, it eventually leads to drug abuse. Ignoring negative consequences is one telltale sign of drug abuse. Other indications include the following:

  • Poor performance at work or school due to drug use
  • Drug use in situations that are harmful to the user or others, such as driving or caring for children while under the influence
  • Legal problems related to drug use
  • Social problems, such as marital difficulties or losing old friends, due to drug use

Quitting prescription drugs “cold turkey” can pose health dangers. To safely detox, medical oversight at a professional facility is often necessary.

How to Stop an Addiction

Contrary to the popular belief, individuals do not need to “hit rock bottom” before they get sober. In fact, people who seek assistance quickly—before physical and psychological dependence become too severe—benefit from improved chances of recovering and preventing relapse. It is never too early to ask for help.

The best way to recover is to face underlying issues that may have given rise to prescription drug addiction in the first place. One source of help at any stage of an addiction can be found by joining a peer support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Benefits include the following:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment
  • Improving coping skills and sense of adjustment
  • Reducing anxiety, distress and depression by sharing negative feelings
  • Gaining practical insights about treatment options
  • Comparing notes about doctors and alternative options

With the right resources and help, it is possible to break a prescription drug addiction and learn to live a satisfying, drug-free life.

Getting Help for Prescription Drug Addiction

You can recover from prescription drug addiction. Recovery counselors are available at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to help you make the transition from addiction to a drug-free life. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call today.

banner ad