An addiction to prescription medications can be one of the toughest to uncover and recognize. The disease of addiction damages the part of the brain that’s responsible for self-awareness and causes the person to be in a state of denial. This is why addiction is known as a disease that doesn’t want a person to get better. The suffering addict will rationalize and justify continuous using to an extreme extent, which makes it difficult for an individual to acknowledge that there’s a problem.
Most people have a fundamental knowledge growing up that drugs are bad and can potentially become addictive; so although they’re unable to recognize their problem, addicted individuals on some level know they need to quit. This is much different when it comes to prescription drug addiction because more often than not, these medications are prescribed by a medical doctor or psychologist.
Prescription medications might be prescribed for chronic pain, a severe illness or treating anxiety, but opiate-based medications and benzodiazepines can become highly addictive. Some people are naturally prone to addiction based on their biological makeup, but this addiction can also develop over time. For most of the world’s population, these medications simply do their job by blocking pain receptors or treating anxiety. When an addict takes these medications, the individual experiences a much different feeling that triggers a craving for more. This can eventually lead to the abuse of the medication and then progress into an addiction without the person even realizing it.
If you’re wondering exactly what is prescription drug abuse, there are certain signs that you can look for if you believe you may have developed an addiction to prescription medications. Some of the most common signs are as follows.
Running Out of Your Medication
Every prescription comes with instructions for a recommended dosage and has a refill date based on this dosage. If you’ve been going outside of this dosage and needing refills long before the due date, this can be the first indication that you may have developed an addiction. As time goes on and the body becomes more tolerant to these medications, the addictive mind begins justifying increased usage of the medicine and disregarding the recommended dosage. A rational mind would tell the person that this recommendation is there for a reason and by increasing the dosage, the person may be at risk for health issues or potential overdose. However, the disease of addiction is much more powerful than logical thinking.
Doctors, psychologists and even pharmacists do the best they can to monitor people for potential signs of addiction, but there’s only so much they can do. They keep records of refills and sometimes request that individuals come back and see them before they’ll authorize a refill for these addictive medications, which may cause an addict to begin seeing other doctors. If you’ve begun seeing multiple doctors to increase the amount of refills you get, or to request higher dosages of your medications, then it has become a problem.
Buying These Medications Illegally
Prescription medication abuse has become a worldwide epidemic, and a profitable market for drug dealers. When addicts are unable to get the amount of medications they need in order to feel well through traditional means, they’ll begin buying these medications on the streets. This is highly dangerous because you don’t always know what you’re buying, and these pills can become toxic when combined with other medications.
If you’re still asking the question of “What is prescription drug abuse?” please call our helpline today at 800-447-9081.