Prescription Drug Addiction: 3 Factors that Can Affect Recovery
Some 16 million Americans over the age of 12 years old abuse prescription drugs in a year, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. At least 2 million of those users are addicted.
Prescription drug addiction is one of the biggest problems in addiction today, particularly given the availability and potency of certain drugs like opioids. What’s more, there are certain factors that make recovery more difficult than with other types of drugs. Let’s take a look at some of the more common factors that affect recovery from prescription drug addiction.
1. Ongoing Medical Problems
Probably one of the most challenging factors that affect recovery from prescription drug addiction is if you have ongoing problems that would normally require the use of the very drug that’s causing the problem.
Many of the prescription drugs that cause addiction are opioids, and it’s one of the biggest problems today. But opioids are also very effective pain relievers for a number of medical conditions. It presents a unique challenge when physicians must try to manage the pain of patients with a history of addiction.
2. Easy Access to New Prescriptions
While most doctors nowadays are careful about monitoring opioid use patterns in their patients, addicts will do anything to get their drug of choice when they’re in the grips of their addiction. They will lie, cheat, steal, and do anything else they need to do to get their fix.
That includes going to a different doctor, or ‘doctor-shopping’ for the right doctor, for a new prescription. They might even steal prescription pads to write their own prescriptions. This presents a challenge for treatment strategies because it’s nearly impossible to prevent them from getting access.
3. No One’s Immune
One of the reasons painkiller addiction is so prevalent today is that no one is immune. Most people require some form of pain relief at some point over the course of their lifetime.
That means preventing a prescription drug addiction is not as easy as simply never using the drug. You might never have major surgery, but it’s certainly possible you’ll need a tooth pulled or a root canal or some other type of dental work that could require prescription drug pain relievers.
What Works for Prescription Drug Addiction?
The most important thing you can do to prevent a prescription drug addiction is to be completely honest with your doctor or dentist about your concerns and use patterns. If you’re already an addict, work them on alternatives to prescription drug pain relief.
This can include using less addictive drugs or other drug-free methods to relieve pain, such as neurostimulation, hypnosis, or physical therapy. Additionally, you’ll want to have your doctor carefully monitor your progress and need for pain relief.
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