3 Things You May Not Know About Prescription Pill Addiction

For years, people have been using prescription medications to treat a number of things. But, only in recent years have we been able to assess the damage of over-prescribing and easy access to prescription drugs. With easy access to doctors who prescribe medications without moral consciousness and overwhelming numbers of prescription sales on the street, it’s no wonder that prescription drug misuse has led to a nationwide epidemic.

Since prescription drug misuse is such a problem for the people in our nation, everyone has their own opinions about the issue. This leads to common misconceptions about prescription addiction. However, it’s important to address these myths so that people can get the help they need and move on from life affected by prescription addiction.

Myth #1: “Everyone’s doing it – I’ll be fine” 

Drug misuse is something that’s entirely common. In fact, according to The National Institute on Drug misuse (NIH), 18 million people reported having misused a prescription medication at least one time in the past year alone. But, the fact that it’s common doesn’t make prescription pill abuse any less dangerous.

Even if none of your friends or acquaintances have experienced the negative effects of prescription drug misuse yet, they are likely to soon. Prescription pills are killing people at a faster rate than any other classification of drugs. And, it doesn’t help that prescription misuse can lead to the misuse of other illicit drugs. Specifically, in the case of opioid painkillers leading to heroin abuse. Fentanyl, 100x more potent than morphine, is frequently cut into heroin doses. Thus, increasing the user’s experience but often coming with a price – the horrific reality of overdose death.

The commonality of prescription drug misuse isn’t a reason to keep abusing these substances. In fact, it’s one of many reasons why more people should know about the myths surrounding prescription drug misuse. And, why more people should be getting help to fight the disease of addiction.

Myth #2: “There’s a difference between prescription drug misuse and addiction.”

Many people look at addiction as if there are only two options; you have an addiction or you don’t. However, it’s more complicated than that because addiction doesn’t just happen overnight. In many cases, people using prescription drugs don’t even know they’ve become addicted because it was never their intent. But, after using these substances for a length of time, their minds and bodies have begun to need them to function correctly.

Because the slippery slope of addiction is a process, it’s important to be aware that if a person is abusing prescription pills or drugs, there is a problem. And, that it can always get worse before it gets better, so the sooner help is sought out, the better.

Myth #3: “Addiction is the only issue I’ll be facing in treatment.

Once a person identifies the need for help, they may expect treatment to only address addiction and prescription drug misuse. However, that’s typically not the case. In reality, most people who develop an addiction also struggle with other underlying issues. When you think about it, lots of people use prescription medications and stop their use after treatment has run its course. They don’t become addicted. But, in the case of someone who has developed a dependence on prescription pills, use led to continued use, which led to addiction.

So, why do some people get addicted to prescription pills and others don’t? The answer is the same as the need for treatment to not only include approaches for addiction – underlying and co-occurring issues. For example, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and trauma.

Even though many may perpetuate myths surrounding prescription drug misuse, there is medical and scientific evidence that supports evidence-based therapies and treatment. This means that if you’re struggling with prescription addiction, you can get help.

Lotus Healing offers outpatient alcohol treatment for folks who want to stop drinking and live more healthy lives with greater mental well-being. Learn about our outpatient services and providers like Adam Freilich, LADC, right from our website.

Dr. Dixie Brown is a PhD level Therapist, Integrative Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in Mental Health, specifically with trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.

Dixie Brown

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Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.