Drug addiction is a serious epidemic we can fight together.
Television commercials routinely offer prescription drugs as the solution to people’s problems. This mentality often leads to prescription drug abuse. Because drugs are so widely accepted, users can be blind to the fact that they are overdoing it. Family members and friends may not notice the addiction developing, and doctors may not realize that the patient is getting prescriptions from multiple sources.
Of course, prescription drugs do offer many benefits when taken at the recommended dosage. But the growing number of people who become addicted to these drugs shows that many Americans are taking much higher doses than recommended. If you think you or someone you know may be one of those people who is abusing prescription drugs, you owe it to yourself to find out how you can stop the abuse and get back to living a drug-free life.
So, how do you know when prescription drug use is becoming abuse?
Phases of Prescription Drug Abuse
1. Drug Dependence
When you stop taking a drug, or your prescription runs out, watch for withdrawal symptoms. These can be physical or psychological. You might feel like you have a mild flu, or you could feel anxious or restless. You could have cramps, as well as sore muscles and joints. Some people break out in a sweat and lose the ability to sleep.
If you feel withdrawal symptoms, it can be tempting to start taking the drug again. When you find yourself seeking relief for withdrawal symptoms instead of for the original health problem, you may be suffering from dependency.
2. Drug Tolerance
The body has a remarkable ability to adjust to drugs. You may find that your body requires larger and larger doses just to give you the same feelings you had when you started taking the drug.
If you start changing your dosage without a doctor’s guidance to get the relief you want, you are abusing the drug. Feeling worse as you take more of a prescription drug is not a sign that your original health problem is getting bigger, it’s an indication that your body has developed a tolerance for the substance.
3. Drug Overdose
You are susceptible to a prescription drug overdose if you try to quit taking it and then go back to taking it in even larger doses. Depending on the type of drug, you could become confused, shaky, slur your words, feel drowsy, become paranoid or have trouble remembering things. These are but a few of the symptoms of overdose.
Watch for big changes in your physical and mental well-being. These can be indicators that you have reached the overdose stage.
From Abuse to Addiction
Abuse becomes addiction a day at a time, and the progression can be so slow you don’t notice it. It is important to avoid shaming yourself if you sense that you are addicted. You are not alone. Twenty percent of American adults admit to abusing prescription drugs, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
If you notice you have been increasing your dosage, or even worse, taking it with alcohol, snorting or chewing it, the time has come to consider whether you are addicted. Notice whether you are taking the drug to relieve withdrawal symptoms instead of seeking relief for the medical condition that sent you to the doctor in the first place.
If you are pretending to have lost your prescription to persuade the doctor to prescribe more, or if you sneak pills from a family member’s supply, order more of the drug on the Internet or forge prescriptions, you are very likely addicted.
Also, ask yourself if you are faking injury or illness so you can get more of the drug. Listen to hear if people are saying you are more irritable or that you are having large changes in mood. Notice if these symptoms occur when you run out of the drug.
Where to Get Help
The good news is that prescription drug abuse and addiction can be treated. You have to find the courage to ask for help. Either you or a family member should look for a professionally-qualified treatment center for prescription drug addiction.
Your struggles won’t end by simply enrolling in a program; the hard work lies ahead. But if you find a provider who seeks to understand you, your needs and the symptoms you are experiencing, you are well on your way to recovery.
Do some research and choose a treatment center that understands your needs.
Changing Your Behavior
A good treatment center will help you find ways to handle your specific habits and behaviors. You will learn how to experience your emotions without drugs, and you’ll discover what you can do to fight the urge to take them. You will even receive instruction on how to handle a relapse and how to stay away from tempting situations.
The feeling of taking charge of your life can be much more exhilarating than the effects of any drug. As you become empowered to stand up to your addiction, you may find yourself becoming the person you always dreamed you would be.
There is No Time Like Now
Whether you are the one who is addicted or you know someone who is, it is time to start the phone calls. You don’t have to know what kind of treatment is needed, you just need to start finding out what is available.
Each patient is unique, and treatment must be tailored to the individual’s needs. Once you recognize that something needs to change, a professional treatment center can offer you options to help end the drug abuse.
The road to recovery may seem long, but it will get shorter with each passing day after you begin your treatment. We are here to help you start your journey and stay on a path that will make you proud.
Contact Resurgence Today
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