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Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction often takes people by surprise. Many people use certain prescription drugs, particularly those prescribed for anxiety or pain, for years without really thinking about the possibility that they could become addicted, or that they are addicted. It seems that many people believe that since the drug has been prescribed by a doctor and isn’t an illegal drug like marijuana or cocaine, that there’s no possibility that they could become addicted.
It’s important to understand that prescription drug addiction is very real and can strike anyone who is taking certain prescription drugs. The longer you take a potentially addictive drug, the higher your risk of becoming addicted is. Many people realize that some classes of drugs might be addictive, like Valium and other mood-altering drugs. But prescription pain killers and others drugs can also become addictive.
It’s also important to realize that prescription drug addiction isn’t all “in your head.” The addiction is a very real, physical manifestation of a body’s dependence on the drug. If you’ve taken a prescription medication for a while—and it can be a short while, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long period of time—and you feel certain symptoms like irritability, headaches, or feelings of depression or lethargy when you stop using it, you may be addicted to that drug.
Unfortunately, many people with a prescription drug addiction continue to feed the addiction by convincing their doctors that they still need the drug for whatever it was prescribed for. For people who can no longer get the drug from one doctor, they often go to a second doctor or a third to start getting the prescription again, without informing their regular doctor. Some people even resort to purchasing the drugs illegally because they’re addicted to them.
Prescription drug addiction is a real addiction that requires real treatment, just as addiction to illegal drugs and alcohol require treatment. People who are addicted to prescription drugs will go through a similar detox program as people with other addictions do. When they stop using the drug they‘ll feel a variety of physical symptoms known as withdrawal. This period is usually the most difficult part of overcoming a prescription drug addiction, and it’s best to do so as a patient in a drug treatment facility.
You should be enrolled in a special program especially for people who have a prescription drug addiction, because the dynamics can be quite different from those who are addicted to alcohol or illegal drugs. Very often there’s a heavy feeling of victimization, because unlike the illegal drug user, the prescription drug addict wasn’t doing anything wrong that resulted in the addiction.
While all addictions will have similar traits, a prescription drug addiction can be different because the person was trying to help themselves with the prescription medication when they became addicted. It can often be quite a surprise to realize you’ve become dependent on the medication. If you suspect you have a prescription drug addiction, you should first speak to the doctor who has been prescribing the drugs, and then consider an inpatient stay in a drug treatment facility.

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