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Prescription Medication Addiction – Part 2

Prescription Medication Addiction – Part 2
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by Mary Cowser

If someone asked us if we have ever taken prescription medications, most of us would likely answer, “of course.” In most cases, we take medications temporarily to cure an illness or heal an injury. When we recover, we stop taking the medication. It’s just part of life. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple for some people.  This is part 2 of our report on prescription medication addiction.

How does Addiction Affect a Person’s Life?

Addiction almost always has a detrimental effect on a person’s life. It prompts unhealthy and risky behavior uncharacteristic for them. Their behavior causes long-term repercussions.

They can experience financial dilemmas due to running out of medication mid-month. They are then forced to buy from online pharmacies, which are expensive.

They become unable to afford the prescription drug and turn to street drugs such as heroin, which is cheaper. This sometimes places them in threatening situations by going to unsafe areas looking for drugs.

They begin doctor shopping, which is going to various doctors in an attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same medications.

Their relationships deteriorate due to abusing, neglecting, or lying to their loved ones as a result of taking the drugs.

They are discovered stealing money to buy drugs or they are arrested for public intoxication or possession causing legal predicaments.

They run the risk of overdose when they begin to forget how many pills they should have left or how many they have taken.

How can you help?

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, begin watching their actions for signs of addiction.

Some of the signs of addiction can include:

  • Excessive energy or lethargy
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Making unsound decisions
  • Seeing numerous doctors
  • Stealing

Offer to help in any way you can. Don’t be surprised or offended if they tell you to mind your own business. This is the drug talking. As a friend or loved one to this person, it is your business.

If they refuse to accept your help and you’re not related to them, talk to their family. There’s a possibility they are not aware of the situation.

If they ask you for money, one of the worst actions you can take is to give it to them. They’ll immediately use it to buy more drugs. Doing this only enables them and prolongs the addiction.

The common consensus is that someone cannot be helped unless they are ready to be helped. However, according to “The Ranch”, which is a rehabilitation facility in Tennessee, in most cases, addicts rarely enter rehabilitation willingly. Either family or friends convince them to go or they are forced into therapy. After entering a facility, they eventually admit to having a problem and begin responding to treatment.

Many states have laws that enable family members to force someone into rehabilitation. The specific laws differ from state to state. You may have to prove to the court that they are capable of hurting themselves or others. Anyone considering this action would need to research the laws and procedures in their own state. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is an excellent link for locating help in your state.

Although it may feel like it, taking these actions is not betrayal. Even if it destroys your relationship with this person, it’s better than the destruction of their life. It’s more likely you will enjoy a lifelong bond. You cared enough to help them regain their freedom from this debilitating illness. What greater gift could you give them than the ability to proceed with a healthy and drug free life?



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