You were prescribed a medication that would help to alleviate your chronic pain or help you manage the symptoms of your mood or anxiety disorder. You started taking the medication as prescribed, but noticed that you have been taking more in order to feel relief of your symptoms.
You may not even realize it, but you could be addicted to prescription drugs. An addiction to prescription drugs can be dangerous, and can leave you with more symptoms than what led you to start taking them in the first place.
Here are some signs that you may be addicted to prescription drugs:
- Taking larger or more frequent doses of the medication
- Continuing to take the medication even after your symptoms have gone away, or for reasons other than the symptoms for which it was prescribed
- Obtaining medication from other people that was not prescribed to you
- A lack of interest in curing your symptoms through anything other than the medication, such as lifestyle changes or holistic treatments
- Obtaining more dosages and prescriptions through multiple doctors or pharmacies
- Making up symptoms to obtain more medication
- A history of addiction to drugs or alcohol
- People who have become dependent on or addicted to prescription medication may also experience depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Statistics about Prescription Drug Addiction
Here are some things you should know about prescription drug addiction:
- The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioids (for pain), depressants (for sleep and anxiety disorders) and stimulants (for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
- About 50 percent of people have used a prescription drug in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The number of overdose deaths from opioid painkillers such as morphine and codeine more than tripled between 1999 and 2006, according to the CDC.
- About 20 percent of people have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Fortunately, an addiction to prescription drugs in treatable. A residential treatment center for drug addiction can help you to end your addiction to prescription drugs and learn to manage without them. Residential treatment centers often offer treatment modalities that can help you to treat the symptoms for which you were taking prescription medication. For example, if you were taking medication for chronic pain, you will work with pain specialists on ways to better manage the symptoms of your pain without relying on drugs.
If you are suffering from a mood or anxiety disorder in addition to your prescription drug addiction, a residential treatment center can also help you to recover from those. Effective treatment involves addressing your main addiction and any co-occurring disorders for a more complete recovery.