Bullying and Prescription Drug Abuse

Very sad youg man sitting on the floor crying due to his grief

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Prescription drug abuse can be the result of many factors coming together, such as genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors, environmental exposures or access to prescription medications, and emotional or psychological trauma.  For the individual who has endured any type of bullying, this can serve as a form of emotional/psychological trauma, which can lead to detrimental consequences if not appropriately addressed, dealt with, and healed from.

Bullying is Common

Unfortunately, bullying is an all too common problem and issue that many individuals are confronted with.  Bullying can occur in several different forms, including verbal, social, and physical bullying, and can happen to individuals regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, age, stature and more.  According to the organization StopBullying.Gov, almost 50 percent of children in grades 4-12 reported being bullied by other students in a large study conducted [1], demonstrating how severe of an issue bullying really is.

sad-girl-236769_640While not all individuals who have been bullied will fall into dangerous behaviors, those who may be susceptible to addiction might be triggered by the trauma involved with bullying.  Bullying can also trigger other mental illnesses that are difficult to live with, including anxiety and depression.  Use of prescription medications for managing these mental illnesses can become habit forming, especially if there is a lack of other therapies involved with medication.

If you or someone you love has experienced any form of bullying, it is important to address this with a professional counselor or therapist.  Bullying is a form of trauma that can compound into other issues, particularly if not addressed or dealt with.  If you are dealing with an addiction to prescription medications and have a history of bullying in your past, consider how this experience has affected you and influenced your choices in life.  Working with a professional treatment team to address the many layers of addiction is important for healing and recovery.   While it may be difficult to revisit a painful past, this is essential for moving forward and overcoming an addiction to prescription medications.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are effective ways for addressing bullying?  If you or someone you love has experienced bullying and subsequent prescription drug abuse, what were helpful resources for treatment and healing?


  1. “Facts about Bullying”, Stopbullying.gov http://www.stopbullying.gov/news/media/facts/#listing Accessed 20 Sept 2015

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 9, 2015, 2015. Published on AddictionHope.com