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Addiction can happen completely without warning and can occur as a result of legitimate medical treatment for a disease, injury, or disorder. It is possible to get addicted to prescribed medication, and this can happen completely unintentionally. It’s important to be able to understand how this happens and recognize the signs of addiction.
If you think that you may possibly be addicted to a medication that has been prescribed to you, it is important that you reach out to your doctor right away. They can help you figure out the proper next steps.
Some people who are addicted to prescribed medication also use alcohol and other substances. This increases the level of danger involved. If you find yourself struggling with addiction, The Kimberly Center provides services that can help you recover.
Understanding How a Person Gets Addicted to Prescribed Medication
It is possible to follow all the instructions that a doctor gives you and take your medication as you’re supposed to and still end up struggling with addiction. In many cases, people are prescribed powerful painkillers to provide relief after surgery or injury. While these medications might work successfully at first, they may later find that when they try to wean off of them, their symptoms return. They may also experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t keep taking the medication.
In other cases, someone might initially take their medication as instructed but get frustrated when they don’t experience the relief they are looking for as fast as they want. As a result, they may take more medication than they were instructed to or take it more frequently than they are supposed to. Over time they will build up a tolerance to the drug and will need more and more of it to experience the same effects. This can swiftly lead to addiction.
When people are struggling with addiction to prescription medication, they will often reach a point when their doctor will no longer prescribe it to them. As a result, they may engage in “doctor hopping” and try to get different doctors to write them a prescription for the drug. When this no longer works, they may try to obtain the drug illegally, such as buying it from another person who may or may not have a legitimate prescription.
There are numerous side effects of prescription drug addiction. Some can be quite severe. The way these symptoms present themselves can depend on the type of drug that you’re taking. It is important to be able to recognize these symptoms:
- Changes in appetite
- Slurred speech
- Poor judgment
- Mood changes
- Changes in weight
- Memory problems
- Changes in heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
- Depression or anxiety
- Mood swings
These symptoms can also depend on whether or not alcohol or other substances are being used along with the prescription drug.
Recognizing the Signs of Being Addicted to Prescribed Medication
You might be wondering if you’re addicted to a certain prescribed medication but aren’t certain. There are some questions that you can ask yourself to determine the answer. It is important to answer as honestly as possible:
- Have you been instructed by a doctor that it is time for you to stop taking your medication but struggled to do so?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking the medication?
- Have you been taking more of the medication than was instructed?
- Do you take the medication more frequently than was instructed?
- Have you continued to use the medication even after your initial symptoms subsided?
- While trying to obtain more of this medication, have you lied to your doctor about your symptoms?
- Have you bounced around to different doctors to try to obtain this medication?
- While trying to obtain this medication, have you ever done something illegal, for example, purchasing it from someone else?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be addicted to your prescribed medication. You don’t have to struggle with this alone. Reach out to your primary care provider and be honest with them about your situation. They can adjust your treatment plan as necessary. You can also reach out to a treatment center like The Kimberly Center to get you on the path of recovery.
Understanding How to Avoid Getting Addicted to Prescribed Medication
You can avoid getting addicted to prescribed medication by following some set rules. First and foremost, always take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Take no more or no less than instructed. Keep your medication in a safe and secure place, and never give it to anyone else.
If you have children, educate them about the dangers of taking other people’s medication, and make sure to keep it out of their reach. Curious kids may try taking it just to see what happens. If you know that you’re having a guest enter your household that has a history of prescription drug misuse, make sure that your medication is put away safely.
While prescribed medication is intended to help us, it can lead you down a dark and dangerous road if you’re not careful. That’s why being able to recognize the signs of addiction is so important. At The Kimberly Center, we have helped many clients take back their lives from substance misuse. We want to help you begin living the life you deserve as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with an addiction of any kind, we are here for you. Give us a call at (855) 452-3683 today, and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about our treatment programs.