Prescription drug abuse has risen to epidemic proportions in recent years, and addiction to prescription drugs now far outstrips addiction to street drugs. People from all walks of life have fallen into the trap of drug addiction, often after being prescribed a painkiller after surgery or for other conditions. Many of the modern pain drugs are highly addictive. Using these drugs for even a few weeks can lead to dependence, and a life that begins spiraling out of control. Young people gain access to dangerous addictive drugs by locating these medications in the medicine cabinet at home. Two thirds of teenagers who have become addicted to pain medications have been introduced to these drugs from either family or friends.
Taking Steps to End Prescription Drug Abuse on Your Own
If you are now facing the truth and recognize that you are dependent upon prescription drugs, you have taken the first step towards curbing addiction. It can be very difficult to admit to being dependent upon pain medication, and coming up with justifications for abuse is common. There are various methods by which you can try deal with the problem on your own, but it can be a tough road. These medications are highly addictive. Some will need to seek professional help get free from addiction. Read some basic advice about dealing with prescription drug abuse on your own:
- Keep track of how much of the prescription drug you are actually using. By marking down the times and quantities you are taking, you can take a hard look at how the drug may be controlling your life, and the level of abuse.
- Take the time to have a conversation with yourself about your life. Sit down with paper and pen, and write a list of all of the things in your life that are important to you, such as children, partner, job, church and friends. Write down how the drug abuse could impact what is most important to you, and be honest with yourself. If your partner, children, friends or boss was aware that you were addicted to prescription drugs, what would be the outcome? Confronting reality is not always easy. Putting it in writing can clarify it for you.
- Find a trusted friend, relative or other person that you feel safe talking to. If you have a person in your life that you deeply trust, have a conversation about your drug addiction. Hiding the abuse tends to perpetuates it. When you open up about it, even to one other person, it can set you on the right track, particularly when you listen to his or her thoughts about it.
- Carefully limit the use of the drug. Addictive drugs are tough to quit, and the body actually craves the substance. A slow reduction will be less painful. Keep a graph and set goals to reduce the amount of the substance you take. This will take self-discipline but winding down can make the process less painful.
- Get rid of all reminders of abuse. The drugs must be removed from your home, office, handbag or wherever else they may be, and be disposed of in a safe manner. Take them to your pharmacist for disposal, or find a place that will get rid of them. Never keep old prescription drugs in your home.
- Get help. Tell your partner what has happened so you have support. Detoxing from drug addiction can be very difficult, and you need all the support you can get.
- Not everyone needs to go to rehab, but if you can’t quit the drug, it is time to find a facility that meets your specific needs. There are many out there. Read the success rate and the process they use. Avoid a facility that uses replacement drugs – the idea is to gain control, not switch to another type of dependence.
- Exercise. It can be helpful to stay extremely busy, and to be physically active. Take long walks, exercise and eat well. Eat a healthier diet, and avoid starchy, sugary foods. Focus on improving your overall health and developing good habits.
If you just can’t do it, don’t feel like a failure. Some prescription painkillers are as addictive as heroin. Get help. Your determination to end the drug abuse and your ability to persevere in your effort to curb your addiction is the critical point in your success.