Prescription drug abuse shares many similarities to other types of addictive behaviour, but there are some important differences as well. Those who fall into this trap can suffer from stronger denial than the average drug user, and there can be unique issues affecting this subset of substance abuser. Below are the six biggest fears for those who are dealing with prescription drug addiction.
Fear of the Stigma of Addiction
Prescription drug abusers can be particularly good at hiding their addictive behaviour, convincing themselves that what they are doing is purely for medical reasons. The stereotype of a drug addict is a person who is struggling in life and possibly dangerous; a prescription drug user can be afraid of being stigmatised admitting to the problem. Only by understanding that people from all walks of life can become addicted will the individual become more willing to consider that he or she may be dealing with this problem. They can accept the stigma does not come from stopping the behaviour but with continuing it.
Fear of Being Left in Pain
Many of those who do fall into prescription drug addiction have genuine medical complaints that are causing them suffering. These individuals may fear that if they admit to an addiction, the doctors will refuse to prescribe any more pain medication so they will be left to suffer. This concern is understandable but all medical people are ethically obliged to ensure that nobody is left to suffer with chronic pain. This means the priority has to be that suitable alternatives are found for dealing with your symptoms; you should not expect to be ‘penalised’ for admitting to your problems.
If you have become physically addicted to a drug then it means you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit. The severity of these symptoms will depend on a number of factors including the length of the addiction, the amount of the drug you were you using, the type of drug, and your physical health. The good news is that if you choose a supervised detox, there will usually be medications that will reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. With some prescription medication, it may also be possible for your doctor to wean you off them.
Let’s face it; the statistics for relapse make depressing reading, but this does not mean that you are going to end up relapsing. There are things that you can do to protect your sobriety and, as long as you remain committed to this new life, there is nobody that will be able to take it away from you. It is good to have a healthy fear of relapse, but you should not allow this risk to turn you off getting the help you need to recover.
If you have been taking a lot of prescription medication, you may worry that you might break free of one drug only to have it replaced with another one that you then go on to abuse. This concern is understandable, so it is important that you speak to your doctor about this. One of the benefits of entering a rehab programme is that you should get input from medical professionals who understand your situation and can offer suitable path of recovery in which any symptoms are managed without the risk of new addictions.
One of the aspects of psychological addiction is that you can feel unable to cope without the drug. This is all part of the denial of addiction, and you will find out in recovery that there are more effective ways for dealing with life than abusing these substances.