Addiction is a rapidly growing problem in the United States as well as the rest of the world. Some of the biggest problem drugs come in the form of prescription medications. These prescription drugs include medications like various opiates for pain management, benzodiazepines for anxiety and amphetamines to treat people with attention deficit hyperactive disorders. The medications can be very helpful for most people, but for others there can be a variety of different consequences.
Prescription drugs are the leading cause of fatal overdoses in the world today. The fatalities that come from prescription medications are higher than both heroin and cocaine combined. These types of statistics have people worried about whether or not they should even use these types of medications to treat their symptoms of pain or other illness.
When is it Safe to Take Prescription Drugs?
Addiction only affects about 10 percent of the people in the world. These people are genetically predisposed to the disease, but the disease can manifest over time for others. Anyone can potentially become an addict, which is why they must be careful when they’re prescribed certain medications.
The medications trigger chemicals in the body to give a euphoric feeling, but sometimes the brain enjoys that feeling too much and can’t turn it off, which is what causes addiction. People should always look for a non-narcotic way to treat their symptoms before immediately taking these types of medications.
Just because a doctor recommends a narcotic medication first doesn’t mean that you have to take it. Ask about other non-narcotic options if you have a concern. There are many medications like Lexapro that treat symptoms of depression, but they aren’t addictive.
Following Up with a Doctor
If you are prescribed narcotic prescription drugs, you need to make sure that you’re regularly following up with your doctor to let them know what’s happening. If you’re becoming tolerant to the medication and need more in order to feel well, then you’re developing a tolerance, which is one of the first signs of addiction.
What to do When You’re in Recovery
For those who are in recovery from addiction, this can be a very tricky situation. Unfortunately, accidents happen when we least expect them, and sometimes we’re in severe pain. Some recovering addicts are very anti-medications in their sobriety, and they’re able to recover from their injuries without ever taking a single narcotic pain medication. They do this by using over-the-counter medications like Advil and ibuprofen, and they may also see a physical therapist for help.
If you do get in a situation where the pain is unbearable and you require narcotic medications, just be careful. The best way to do this is by letting someone you trust and knows about your history with substance abuse have the pills. They’ll be able to help monitor you and only give you pills as they are prescribed. This will help you fight the temptation to potentially relapse. This person can be a trusted friend, family member or someone in recovery who knows of your problem with previous addiction to prescription drugs.