How to Cope with Prescription Drug Abuse
Millions of individuals receive prescription drugs for their ailments and injuries each year. Some of them never finish the prescription and others take it as it was outlined. However, there are many individuals who use the drug to an extreme and they become addicted to it. In most cases, it starts out as an innocent way to control the pain they have on an ongoing basis. Yet the brain starts to crave more of it to feel good, and that leads to the monstrous habit called addiction. This is known as prescription drug abuse.
Many individuals who abuse prescription drugs have families and careers. This is a very different type of addiction than street drugs, yet often the symptoms are the same. The individual will usually do a very good job of hiding their needs from friends and family. They may even borrow or steal money to pay for the prescription drugs in some cases.
With a prescription drug abuse problem, addicts find themselves unable to go back to their doctor to get the same medication prescribed again and again. So, they usually sneak around and go to several different doctors. It is also common to buy the drugs in the black market without any prescription. In some extreme cases, people have been known to break their own bones or cause serious injuries so that a doctor will prescribe what they are after.
Pseudo-addiction refers to pain relief seeking behavior of patients whose pain is poorly managed. It is considered an iatrogenic effect of ineffective pain management.
Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, but relapse is common. Prescription drug addiction is relatively rare in patients with chronic case but may be more common in individuals who have a past history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence.
The first step for effective prescription drug abuse treatment is admitting that there is a problem. The next step is to stop hiding it so that your friends, family, and co-workers can offer you the support you need. For the treatment to be successful, it has to be treated from a physical and mental stand point.
When you are addicted to prescription drugs, the brain patterns are altered. You will have to learn how to function without depending on the drugs both physically as well as mentally. Counseling and ongoing support are needed to prevent a relapse from occurring. Physical therapy may help alleviate the pain so that the person doesn’t start taking them again to control it.
Ironically, some prescription drug addictions can be treated effectively with other drugs. In some cases this is necessary to control the pain enough that the person can cope without the addictive drugs. To help prevent prescription drug addictions, only prescribed medication should be taken and that too in specified dosage only. Physician should be notified immediately if you can’t control the pain without addictive drugs.
As a general rule, over the counter drugs are used to treat conditions not necessarily requiring care from a health care provider and have been proven to meet higher safety standards for self-medication by patients. Often a lower dosage of a drug is approved for OTC use, while higher dosages remain the province of a prescription; a notable case is ibuprofen, which has been widely available as an OTC pain killer since the mid-1980s but is still available in doses up to four times the OTC dose for use in cases of severe orthopedic pain.
The safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs in the US is regulated by the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987. The Food and Drug Administration is charged with implementing this law. Herbal preparations, vitamins, minerals, and food supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so the individual consumer must be aware of the potentially-negative effects of using these preparations and also the potential interactions with prescription drugs they may be taking.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction and is characterized by misuse for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances.
Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of Prescription drugs.