Medication Addiction

Many people think that because a doctor prescribes a medication, or because you can buy a medication at a pharmacy it will not be addicting, and won’t cause you harm. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Prescription medication is always prescribed for a specific purpose. To heal, to treat symptoms, to keep conditions under control. However, some medications are quite strong, and can become addicting.  Most specifically, pain medications regardless of the condition.

It’s not uncommon for people with chronic medical conditions, who experience chronic pain to take additional doses of medication in anticipation of experiencing pain. In other words, before they believe that the pain would start, as a way of avoiding the pain. Most of these medications also have a sedating effect, meaning they make you feel sleepy. This being said, many will also take an extra dose to ensure a good, or decent nights sleep.  I’m sure many reading this can understand and empathize with what some of these people may be experiencing, however, quite often this is how prescription addiction starts. Taking medication more often then actually needed, and clearly not taking medication as it is prescribed.  Eventually, a person will begin to build a tolerance to a medication, meaning they will need more of the medication to gain the same effect, or to work, thus the dependence on the medication, addiction has been established.

It’s important to communicate with your doctor at all times with regard to your medical condition and medications. If it’s working or not working. Likewise it’s equally important to take medication which is only prescribed to you, and not someone else, and take it only as prescribed. If a medication is to be taken only as needed, additional instructions will be provided such as ‘ not to exceed 2 every 4-6 hours as needed’.

It is estimated that 52% of addicts in the Kingdom are addicts, are women, and the main substance is prescription medication.

No one intends to become an addict, and not all medications are addicting. Ask your doctor before taking any medication, if you have any concerns. What to do if you have a problem with prescription addiction? The first thing is to talk to your doctor about it. Together, you will develop a plan as to what to do about the addiction, what is the best way to take you off the medication, and what would be the best medication to utilize, should you continue to need a replacement.

The next issue, is to seek out professional help from an addictions therapist. Just as addiction is physical, there are also psychological aspects of addiction. When one become addicted, there is a psychological dependency. It’s that same voice that says you need the medication, you may be in pain, when in actuality, you may not.

It’s the voice that says you never sleep, when in actuality, you do, you just like to think that you don’t, and you really believe that you don’t.  It may not be as restful as you would like, but perhaps that’s due to addiction.

All these believes have to be addressed, new coping strategies have to be developed and put into place, as alternatives to having had been physically addicted. As with any addiction, it’s important to be honest with yourself and to be brave enough to face the truth and ask for help and do something about it. It’s more brave to do something about it, then not to.


Be happy, Be well!