Battle Prescription Drug Addiction With Support

RX Drug Addiction: You Have Options.There are very few things in life that we can say, “I succeeded the first time I tried!”  From walking, riding a bike, learning geometry, to ditching bad habits: success takes LOTS of effort and persistence.

So what is a person to do who is battling prescription drug addiction?  If you’re looking for treatment options for either yourself or a loved one, you know it can be overwhelming.  First of all, know that you’re not alone.  the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that there are 4.9 million US residents who take pain relievers for non-medical use.

Options for Those Seeking Treatment

Use SAMHSA’s online treatment locator: just type in your zip code and get directions to local treatment centers.

You can also use the 24-hour hotline for treatment referrals, as well as support.  The confidential calls are offered in both English and Spanish.  Call 800-662-4357 (HELP).

Are you a veteran?  The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up a crisis line that directs people to specialized treatment options. Call 800-273-8255, option 1. There are also text options by sending a text message to 838255. You can contact the service anytime, any day.

After finding a treatment program, finding long-term support is important.  Many receive help and support through their local chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

How To Make a Good Choice

How do you know what to look for when referred to a treatment center?  Not all treatment options are equal.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says a patient should choose a treatment method that is backed by solid scientific evidence.

Ask if the program offers customization for your individual needs, background, and drug abuse history. Jack Stein, director of the Office of Science Policy and Communication at NIDA says, “We need to approach substance abuse disorder from a whole person perspective.”

He also recommends a combination therapy: one that addresses not just detox, but the individual’s long-term needs.  Look for treatment programs that are tailored to the length of time treatment will be needed.  NIDA suggests that most addicted people need a minimum of three months’ treatment.

Relapse Does Not Equal Failure

Discouraging as it may seem at the time, the adage is true:  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Even the NIDA agrees:  families are encouraged to view prescription drug abuse as a chronic disorder like heart disease or asthma.  In what way?  Drug abuse recovery requires “support and vigilance on the part of the individual.”  Recognize that there will likely be setbacks.  Stein says, “If someone returns to (drug) use, the key is there is an opportunity for the individual to return to treatment and continue on the path to recovery. We try to encourage families to understand that relapse can occur but the individual can recover.”

As a community pharmacy, we strive to prevent prescription and OTC drug addiction.  We care about the individuals in our community, and know that overcoming this addiction is difficult, but worth the fight.  We wish you the best of health!

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