How To Prevent Addiction To Prescribed Painkillers
Most people who take their pain medicine as directed by their doctor do not become addicted, even if they take the medicine for a long time. Fears about addiction should not prevent you from using narcotics to relieve your pain.
But if youâve abused drugs or alcohol in the past or have family members who have, you may be at a higher risk.
To avoid pain medicine addiction:
- Take the drug exactly as your doctor prescribes.
- Tell your doctor about any personal or family history of drug abuse or addiction this will help them prescribe the medicines that will work best for you.
Remember, itâs common for people to develop a tolerance to pain medication and to need higher doses to get the same level of pain relief. This is normal and is not a sign of addiction. With addiction, you may need to use higher doses, but itâs not for pain relief. Still, talk to your doctor if this effect becomes troubling.
Be Involved In The Drug Rehab Treatment And Recovery Process
Healing from alcoholism and drug addiction is everyones responsibility.
If a drug-addicted family member is on the road to recovery, but you or the family has not taken steps to be a part of the healing process, this can actually hinder your loved ones progress. Support through this process is essential. Utilizing a family program and therapy can be a means to facilitate the healing process.
Oftentimes, addiction is deep-seated in family issues and learned behaviors that stem from within the home. If an addicted person is trying to break the cycle and change their behavior, it is very hard if the family has not also begun working through their own issues surrounding the problems in the home.
How To Deal With A Drug Addicted Family Member
When family members or loved ones abuse drugs, it affects everyone they know. Their addiction can have emotional, psychological, financial, and environmental effects on the people who care about them most. Follow the advice below to cope with a drug-addicted family member or loved one.
Method 1 of 4: Educate Yourself About Addiction
1. Search online for information about your loved ones form of addiction.
The optimal plan for addiction management and rehabilitation may vary according to the substance on which your loved one is dependent.
Priorities reading information from sites with a medical or scientific bias or trustworthy sites such as government or university sponsored information. There is information on the web but not everything you read about drug addiction is true or realistic.
Learning about the characteristics of your loved ones drug and addiction can help you understand what to expect from addicts and how to best address the situation.
2. Look out for organizations such as Al-Anon, Ala-Teen and Nar-Anon which offer 12 Step programs for the families and friends of alcoholics and addicts.
Method 2 of 4: Seek Professional and Specialist Help
2. Search for local anonymous support groups.
3. Speak with a professional therapist or counselor.
4. Encourage your loved one to seek help.
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Problems In Different Areas Of Life
Signs of addiction can surface in different areas of a persons life. If a persons psychological dependence drives them to illegally obtain and use drugs, they may be subject to legal consequences. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency maintains a list of illicit substances and the legal consequences for people who use them.7
Other areas of your loved ones life that addiction can impact include.4,5
- Participation in hobbies or other valued activities
Encourage Them To Get Help
As with other diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better. However, dont be surprised if youre met with denial or excuses as to why they cant or wont seek treatment. Be persistent about how important it is that they enter treatment for their addiction, but avoid making them feel guilty or ashamed in the process.
Another option is to hold an intervention for your loved one. Although these are often difficult to do, an intervention may be exactly what your loved one needs if theyre deep into their addiction. Consider bringing in an intervention specialist to help you navigate this process.
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Medical Detox And Rehab
Some people choose to detox on their own. This is not only harder but also more dangerous than detoxing with a doctor. Medical detox is the best way to get sober in a safe, comfortable environment. For those addicted to alcohol or Benzos, medical detox is a must.
A supervised detox is the first step in treating any type of addiction.
A supervised detox can alleviate health issues. Physicians track the patients heart rate, temperature, breathing rate, and fluid levels. Physicians help relieve any discomfort the patient may be feeling. They also adjust any medication doses according to the patients needs and make long-term plans for medication. Those with separate health issues should also seek medical detox. Withdrawals can complicate problems like high blood pressure. A physician can prevent any issues that may arise from attempting to detox alone.
Break free from addiction.
Detox is often a part of inpatient rehabs. In most cases, inpatient rehab takes 30 to 90 days. The first week consists of closely observed detox. Rehab includes other treatments, such as behavioral therapy, to make recovery more successful. If you or a loved one wants to explore rehab options, contact a treatment provider now.
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: December 7, 2018
Avoid Triggers And Keep Cravings In Check
Knowing your triggers is a vital part of recovering from any addiction. It may take some creativity, but avoiding the things that make it too hard to stay away from drugs will make all the difference.
Its important to continue avoiding your triggers even after you have been sober for a while. It can be easy to get overconfident and believe you will never go back to your old habits. However, this is a trap many people fall into. If youre in a support group, youll probably see this happen at least once.
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Should I Call A Drug Hotline Number
Many people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction are unaware of the problem. Physical drug dependence can happen gradually and some individuals falsely feel in control of their drug use. You can benefit from the information provided by a free 24-hour drug addiction helpline number even if you are not sure whether you have a problem. You may be addicted and not realize the severity of your problem with narcotics or how to get help. A representative from a drug abuse hotline will provide you with the information that you need to combat your addiction.
If you suspect a family member is using or addicted to illicit or prescription drugs or other substances, you have more options than you may realize. Someone is available to talk to you and provide assistance at any time of the day.
It is never too late to make the call to a drug abuse hotline number. All of your questions will be answered and the information you receive could be life-saving.
Comparison With Other Substances
All substances that affect the mind carry their own set of risks and harms, some unique to the substance. The most well-established, long term harm of regular cannabis use is addiction. It is often difficult to compare risks and harms between substances. Nevertheless, based on what is currently known, the risk of cannabis addiction is lower than the risk of addiction to alcohol, tobacco or opioids. And, unlike substances such as alcohol or opioids where overdoses may be fatal, a cannabis overdose is not fatal.
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How To Help Someone Understand They Need Help
Friends and family members may feel that they constantly express concerns about a loved ones substance use but never see any changes. You may have reached this point after weeks or months of giving lectures, making threats, ignoring behaviors, accepting promises of change, giving second chances, or imposing consequences.
Experts recommend developing and repeating a consistent, positive message: We care about you and we want you to get help. Define substance use as a problem for you and others who care about the person. Avoid blaming, arguing, and reproaching, and expect denial, distortion, avoidance, rationalization, and intellectualization of the problem.
Perhaps a friend, another family member, doctor, clergy, boss, co-worker, or other significant person in their life might be able to have an effective discussion. Or maybe the person with the substance use disorder would respond to activities you can do together, such as reviewing brochures or videos, meeting with a professional, or going to a self-help SMART Recovery or Twelve Step meeting.
How To Reduce Or Quit Drugs
Many different services are available to help you or someone you know quit drugs.
Its never too late to quit using drugs.
Reducing or quitting drugs can improve your life in many ways. It can:
- improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- reduce your risk of permanent damage to vital organs and death
- improve your relationships with friends and family
- help you reconnect with your emotions
- increase your energy
- improve your appearance
- save you money.
Recovered addicts say that theyve never felt better after quitting drugs, although this can take time. Knowing why you want to quit drugs can help you to stay motivated during the withdrawal process.
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What Drugs Lead To Addiction
Drugs that are commonly misused include:
- Synthetic cannabinoids .
- Synthetic cathinones .
- Tobacco/nicotine and electronic cigarettes .
While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.
Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Affordable Online Therapy
Nearly 3 Million people have turned to BetterHelp for professional online therapy. Take the quiz and get matched with a therapist that fits your needs.
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Seeking Drug Addiction Help
If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to watch them. You may be wondering how to help them with their substance abuse issues. They might be ready to quit and wondering where to get help for substance abuse. There are a number of ways to help a drug addict. Here, we will talk about the signs of drug and alcohol use disorders, what you can expect when your loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder, how to handle the difficulties of trying to help them and how having a loved one with a drug or alcohol addiction affects you.
How To Raise The Subject
People often worry that initiating a discussion with the person with the problem will lead him or her to take drastic steps. They might make a scene in front of other family members, move out of the house, drop out of school, use more excessively, try to hide their problem, or retaliate against them or other family members. However, you might find the conversation to be a wonderfully productive experience. Perhaps the person simply hasnt noticed behavioral changes or doesnt realize that his or her substance use was or is causing a problem. And without change, the problems may become so severe that the same drastic outcomes could result.
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Following A Few Guidelines Will Help You Have A Discussion:
If the problem has only occurred over a short period of time or has not reached a severe stage, it is possible that the adult you care about could successfully cut back on the use of alcohol or other drugs. If the person has not tried cutting back, you could suggest this strategy as a first step. Some people in the risky stages of substance use, or even in the early stage of addiction, are able to cut back and consistently use only minimal amounts in the future.
You may find, though as many do that people who can cut back are the exception, not the rule. Many people try to cut down and discover that they cant, or that they can only cut back for a few days or a few weeks before resuming heavy or excessive use. Trying to cut down and failing may help the person realize that the problem is more extensive than once thought.
You may also find that the person is able to stop completely. But many struggling with addiction have tried this strategy and couldnt stop or remain abstinent for a significant amount of time. Ideally, the person should be assessed by a professional who can determine the best course of action depending on the severity of the problem and the persons medical, psychological, and social history. If you sense the person is willing to consider that there is a problem, suggest that an evaluation or a consultation with a trusted medical or mental health professional.
Understanding Drug Abuse And Addiction
People from all walks of life can experience problems with their drug use, regardless of age, race, background, or the reason they started using drugs in the first place. Some people experiment with recreational drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or to ease problems such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
However, its not just illegal drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, that can lead to abuse and addiction. Prescription medications such as painkillers, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers can cause similar problems. In fact, next to marijuana, prescription painkillers are the most abused drugs in the U.S. and more people die from overdosing powerful opioid painkillers each day than from traffic accidents and gun deaths combined. Addiction to opioid painkillers can be so powerful it has become the major risk factor for heroin abuse.
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Provincial And Territorial Health And Support Services
|List of pharmacies that carry naloxone
Find And Obtain Support For Families Of Addicts
Being in a relationship with a person who has an addiction is often stressful. It’s important that you accept that what you are going through is difficult and seek support. There are many resources that exist for this purpose.
You might want to consider participating in support groups, for instance, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Children and teens can get support from Alateen. If you’re looking for information, the SAMHSA offers a variety of printable resources designed to provide insight and support for families of addicts.
When deciding how to help an addict, it’s also beneficial to develop stress management strategies. This is an important step in helping your loved one. It also benefits you when working through the stressors you will likely encounter when helping a friend or family member work obtain and receive addiction help.
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What Is A Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder is a complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. People with SUD have an intense focus on using a certain substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired. People keep using the substance even when they know it is causing or will cause problems. The most severe SUDs are sometimes called addictions.
People with a substance use disorder may have distorted thinking and behaviors. Changes in the brain’s structure and function are what cause people to have intense cravings, changes in personality, abnormal movements, and other behaviors. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavioral control.
People can develop an addiction to:
- PCP, LSD and other hallucinogens
- Inhalants, such as, paint thinners and glue
- Opioid pain killers, such as codeine and oxycodone, heroin
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics
- Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
When someone has a substance use disorder, they usually build up a tolerance to the substance, meaning they need larger amounts to feel the effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons, including:
In addition to substances, people can also develop addiction to behaviors, such as gambling .
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