Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Preventing Rx Drug Addiction Relapse

Preventing Rx drug addiction relapsePrescription drug addiction is a complicated disease with many layers and a high risk of relapse. There are physical and psychological battles that must be understood and won in order to find a life free of these life-controlling substances. Long-term recovery is possible with the right help.

The Different Sides of Prescription Drug Addiction

The most commonly abused prescription medications are pain-managing opiates such as hydrocodone, Vicodin and psychoactive benzodiazepines such as Prozac and Klonopin. Though they have many differences, all of these drugs are addictive in similar ways. Successful treatment and prevention of relapse depends on proper and thorough treatment.

Opiates and benzodiazepines replace certain pain management and “feel-good” chemicals that naturally occur in the brain. When the drug is no longer available to the brain the user will feel symptoms of withdrawal. This physical side of addiction can last from several days to multiple weeks as the natural chemical balance is restored.

These drugs also create a powerful psychological addiction as they flood the pleasure center of the brain with a euphoric high that the brain will want to feel again and again. This is the same part of the brain that is responsible for impulse control and emotions, and the extreme pleasure and absence of physical and emotional pain chemically re-wires neural pathways around the drug. Many people mistakenly believe that psychological addiction is simply a matter of willpower or attitude. In fact, the psychological aspects of addiction lead to more relapse than physical cravings. Addicts can’t trust their own minds. Denial and justification are just a few of the mental tricks that keep a person trapped by prescription drugs.

How Rx Drug Relapse Happens

Those caught in the cycle of addiction have many obstacles to overcome. Relapse happens when physical or psychological cravings for drugs outwit the tactics, willpower and strategies of the addict. This can be brought on by stressful circumstances, relationship problems, challenges faced during reintroduction to life, loneliness or even simple memories. Though relapse need not ever mean the end of recovery, it often does. After a failure the mind of the addict will try to convince him that recovery is impossible. It is not. But the best plan for long term recovery is to do everything possible to avoid relapse in the first place. The following are a few tactics to avoid relapse:

  • Get treatment that covers all aspects of your disease
  • Be completely open and honest with your recovery sponsor, friends, family and counselors about your temptations and feelings
  • Embrace all aspects of recovery including accountability, education and 12-step commitments
  • Make every group and individual meeting you possibly can

Relapse happens but so does long-term recovery.

Help Preventing Rx Drug Relapse

If you fear a relapse, call us immediately at out 24 hour toll-free helpline. Our specially trained counselors can answer your questions and get you the help you need. If you have been trying to stay clean from prescription drugs on your own, you are likely to fail. Let us help you find the kind of support and treatment that can make a difference in your future. Call us now, and get the help you need.

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