Prescription Drug Addiction

by Johanna Griffin on June 19, 2017
Articles

What is Prescription Drug Addiction?

A prescription drug addict uses medications in a way other than for which they were originally prescribed or to a much greater extent. They come to depend on the drugs to feel better in some way, and experience cravings for them in between doses.

The prescription drug use continues in spite of negative consequences for the user, including relationship difficulties, problems on the job, or the risk of physical harm from inappropriate use.

Signs of Prescription Abuse and Dependence

The signs of addiction to prescription drugs include the following:

  • Complaining of vague symptoms to get more medication
  • Lack of interest in treatment options other than medications
  • Mood swings
  • Seeing several doctors and/or pharmacies to get more pills
  • Past history of drug addiction
  • On and off relief from anxiety
  • Using more than the recommended dose or dosage frequency of the medication
  • Using prescription pills prescribed for others

Causes of Dependency

Prescription medications are drugs and they work on the user’s brain in the same way their illegal counterparts do. When a person who is addicted to prescription drugs uses them, the medication changes the brain’s chemistry, making it less effective at producing chemicals like dopamine or endorphins. Since the brain has stopped producing these chemicals itself, they must be introduced through another source. At this point, the prescription drug addict has become physically dependent on the medication.

Seniors are especially at risk for prescription drug addictions, simply because they are prescribed drugs more often that other groups. For example, a doctor may prescribe a tranquilizer after they have experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of their spouse. The person feels calmer and is able to sleep better with the medication, so they take it more often than the doctor directs. When they run out, they go back to the doctor for another prescription, and this is how the addiction starts.

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Ms. Afsheen Sheikh
Ms. Afsheen Sheikh
Senior Therapist - English and Urdu
MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis - Queens University of Belfast,UK - Experience: 5 Years
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 10 Years
Dr. Andrea Tosatto
Dr. Andrea Tosatto
Clinical Psychologist - Children, Adults, and People of Determination - English, Italian and Spanish
MA, BSC, MSC, PSYD - Experience: 20 Years
Dr. Anna Grazia Lecca
Dr. Anna Grazia Lecca
Clinical Psychologist - Italian, English, French, Learning Arabic
PhD in Clinical Psychology - Experience: 20 Years
Dr. Shaju George
Dr. Shaju George
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Malayalam
MBBS : Calicut University, DPM & MD: Kerala University, Aviation Medicine: Flying medicine UK - Experience: 18 Years
Iva Vukusic
Iva Vukusic
Clinical Psychologist - English, Croatian and German
Master of Psychology, Training of Trainers (ToT) Community
Dr. Girish Banwari
Dr. Girish Banwari
Specialist Psychiatrist - English and Hindi
M.B.B.S., M.D. (Psychiatry) - Experience: 10 Years
Jyotika Aggarwal
Jyotika Aggarwal
Clinical Psychologist - English and Hindi
M.A.(Clinical Psychology), RE-CBT - Experience: 7 Years
Dr. Kirin Fiona Hilliar
Dr. Kirin Fiona Hilliar
Psychologist - English
PhD(Psychology), Master of Psychology (Forensic) - Experience: 11 Years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Counseling Psychologist - English, Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi
CAGS (Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA - Experience: 25 Years
Sneha John
Sneha John
Psychologist - English, French, Malayalam and basic Arabic
Masters in Clinical Psychology, Bachelor of Psychology with Counselling from Middlesex University, Diploma in Child Development

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