Why Prescription Medication Addiction is Dangerous
Many people make the mistake of thinking that prescription medication addiction isn’t possible. After all, if your doctor prescribes it, it must be safe, right? False! There are a number of drugs that are often prescribed that can be extremely addicting. Sadly, many doctors fail to warn their patients about the dangers. It is important to educate yourself about any medication you are taking.
Different Types of Prescription Medication Addiction
There isn’t only one drug you need to be careful about that your doctor can prescribe to you. There are a number of different drugs in different classifications that can cause addiction. Here are some of the main ones.
Opioids. These drugs are often prescribed to treat pain and include drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet. These are highly addictive. If you pay attention to the news, these prescription drugs contribute hugely to the opioid epidemic in America. They are in the same family of drugs as heroin. Many heroin users start out by getting hooked on prescription opioids from their doctors.
Benzodiazepines. These are a class of drugs that suppress the central nervous system and include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and others. They are usually used for conditions like anxiety and problems sleeping.
Stimulants are often prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy and include drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs are often abused by college students trying to pull all-nighters.
The Dangers of Prescription Addiction
The rule of thumb is to understand that just because a doctor prescribes something doesn’t mean it is safe. First of all, everybody is different and reacts differently to any kind of substance. So for your own sake, it is important to be careful. Aside from prescription medication addiction, you can be allergic or have a bad reaction. Take things carefully and read through all the warnings. Always make sure there are no contraindications with other pharmaceutical drugs or supplements you may be taking.
As mentioned above prescription opioids contribute drastically to the current opioid epidemic in America. Because pharmaceutical opiates are so closely related to street drugs like heroin, once a person is hooked it is easy to make the transition. Sadly, heroin is often cheaper and easier to find than prescription opiates. For this reason, many addicts turn to it even when they swore they never would.
All prescriptions medications are dangerous to combine with other drugs or alcohol. This is especially true with benzos like Xanax. Xanax has the same effect on the central nervous system as alcohol. When both are taken at once, it is easy to overload your body and overdose. Mixing Xanax and alcohol should never be done. Even the smallest amount can lead to overdose and death.
How to Prevent Prescription Abuse
When it comes to addiction, make sure to research what your doctor prescribes, even if they assure you it is safe. If you have any kind of history of addiction, make sure to tell your doctor up front so that they prescribe non-habit-forming alternatives. Also, it is important to keep your pharmaceuticals out of the reach of others in your family. You never know if someone will take them by mistake. Or, if you have curious teens in your home, they may be looking to experiment with them.
To avoid prescription medication addiction, always take only what you are prescribed or less. If you find yourself needing more than the recommended dose, speak to your doctor about switching medications. Never self-diagnose and change your dosage by yourself. If you find yourself addicted to a prescription drug, talk to your doctor immediately about weaning off. They may be able to help you. You want to make sure you get treatment before the situation gets worse. In many cases, intensive inpatient treatment may be the best option to ensure that addiction is a thing of the past.