The disease of addiction is an increasingly growing problem in the city of Portland, Oregon. While it’s no secret that many people are suffering from an addiction to heroin and meth, a much bigger problem is the abuse of prescription medications. Some people abuse these medications because they’re looking for a high that they can’t get from alcohol or street drugs, but there is a large majority of these people who have become addicted to medications they were prescribed for a legitimate health issue.
How do People Become Addicted to Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs were made with good intentions. They can help a person after they’ve had an injury, lessen symptoms of anxiety, depression and attention deficit disorder and they can help with certain illnesses that cause people pain. The problem is that these medications can activate dopamine in the person’s body, which gives them a sense of pleasure. Most people get a slight buzz like they would when they drink alcohol, but people who are prone to addiction have a much more intense feeling of pleasure and euphoria.
Some addicts were simply looking for a new way to get high. There are people who had a problem with alcohol, but found that prescription medications could give them a similar effect. They might justify and rationalize their using because they believe they are in more control when they’re using pills. They may also think that it’s an easier way to hide their addiction because they don’t smell like alcohol, and they’ll also find that they don’t wake up with a hangover. These are ways that addiction can progress.
There are also addicts who never intended to abuse their medications, but eventually they lost control of their using. People become addicted based on different risk factors, and one of these is based on a person’s genetics. Someone may have never had a problem with substance abuse in the past, but when they were prescribed a narcotic medication their addiction was triggered. The person becomes tolerant of the medication, so they’ll begin to take more to deal with their symptoms of mental illness or pain.
Dealing with a Loved One Who is Addicted to Prescription Medications in Portland
The first thing you must do to help your loved one is to realize that addiction is not a choice; it’s a disease and a mental illness. In recent years, addiction has been added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is what doctors and psychologists use to diagnose the symptoms of a mental illness. It was added because studies have shown that addiction is a progressive illness that alters the person’s mind.
Although your loved one may be hurting you and other family members, having a certain level of empathy is the best way to help them. Remember, you would not get mad at a loved one who was suffering from cancer or another chronic disease, so you must try to treat an addict in the same respect. The difference is that the addict has an illness with their brain that causes him or her to act selfish, dishonest or violent.
The best chance an addict has to getting sober is to find a qualified prescription drug treatment program in Portland that can help them learn how to live a better life. Much like other chronic illnesses, addiction is progressive, so it may be more difficult to convince your loved one to enter a treatment program if they have a more severe form of the disease.
Having an Intervention
There are two types of interventions to help your loved one enter a prescription drug treatment program in Portland. The first type is an informal intervention. It’s not uncommon for loved ones of an addict to turn a blind eye when a person has been abusing their medications. Family members and friends can also justify the person’s substance abuse by thinking it’s alright because they are dealing with pain or emotional issues. An informal intervention is simply mentioning to the person that they may need to enter a prescription drug rehab in Portland. That may be enough to switch their train of thought and realize that they might have a problem.
If the person’s addiction is severe, and they are refusing treatment, then you should strongly consider having a formal intervention. An addiction specialist or interventionist from a prescription drug rehab in Portland should always coordinate these types of interventions. They will help give you and your loved ones guidance to have the best chances of having the addict enter treatment. When you sit down with the addict, emotions will be high and the addict may become defensive, so you can also have the specialist or interventionist attend to act as a mediator.
Remember that even if the addict refuses treatment after an intervention, there’s still a good chance that they may have a moment of clarity and realize that they need the help of a Portland prescription drug rehab.