Prescription Drug Addiction
Whether you or someone you care about are taking a painkiller, antidepressant, stimulant, sedative or other psychoactive drug definite signs of addiction can warn you of a problem with addiction. These are not necessarily all the signs so if you think you or someone you know may have a problem, please talk to a health professional or get in contact with us so we can go over the problem with you and help you find treatment. (Never try to come off a painkiller or psychoactive drug without proper guidance – and nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice)
Some Signs of Addiction
* Feeling you need to take the drug in order to feel “normal”
* Finding you need to take higher doses to achieve the same effect
* Noticing negative consequences of taking the drug but still being unable to stop
* Using devious or even illegal means to get more of the drug
* Becoming preoccupied with where you’ll get more of the medication
* Being very aware of how many pills you have left or when you’re like to run out of them
* Finding you are withdrawing from friends, family or co-workers
* Doctor shopping to get more drugs than one doctor will prescribe
* Finding you are having odd changes is mood, personality, energy or concentration
* Having tried to withdraw from the drug but without success
* Trying to hide or minimize your medication usage
Limiting Your Risk of Addiction
Here a some ways you can limit your risk of addiction.
* Before starting on a painkiller or psychiatric medication talk to your doctor about all the risks connected with taking that drug, including how you will know if you are becoming addicted.
* Talk to you doctor about how long he or she expects you to be on this medication
* Make sure you have received a full medical exam to check for any physical causes of your problem – this is especially true before taking an antidepressant or other psychoactive substance. Improper diet, allergies, undetected physical illness, thyroid problems and many other physical causes are known to create emotional upsets, sometime serious ones.
* When taking a pain medication ask your doctor about other pain management techniques including complementary approaches such as physical therapy, nutritional supplements, exercise and acupuncture.
* Find out what side effects may be caused by a prescription you are already taking. Many medications have side effects that include alterations in mood including feeling anxious, manic or depressed.
* Do not suffer in silence. If you find your pain medication is not helping as much as it used to or as much as it should, talk to your doctor. Do not take more than prescribed or take it more frequently than instructed. You doctor may supplement your pain relievers with other therapies such as massage, relaxation techniques, exercise, acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy or herbal remedies.
* If you are thinking about how to get more medication without talking to your doctor or by going to another doctor, realize you have a problem. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to conquer any addiction that is occurring.
* Never buy any medication from a casual or illegal source.
* Don’t share medications with others.