Article Contributed by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC and Founder of Addiction Hope and Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, for Addiction Hope
Overcoming an addiction to prescription medications is a process that requires unwavering commitment and dedication to the journey. If you or a loved one has been suffering with an addiction to prescription medications, you have likely experienced the heartache that is involved as the negative consequences of addiction unfold.
The impact of prescription drug addiction is felt around the world, especially within the United States. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, more than 15 million people abuse prescription medications, which is more than the combined number of individuals who reported abusing hallucinogens, inhalants, cocaine, and heroin .
Commonly abused prescription medications include:
- Opioid-based painkillers
You are not alone in your struggle against prescription medication abuse. Hope lies in the recovery journey from prescription medication, and thankfully, many resources exist that can help you overcome your addiction to prescription drugs.
Whether you have been addicted for months or years, you can choose to regain your life from addiction by utilizing the resources available to you for recovery.
Where Do You Begin on the Journey to Recovery?
If you are ready to reclaim your life and begin your recovery journey, where do you begin? What resources and tools are available to help you recover from prescription medications?
It is important to realize that addictions should not be faced alone due to the complexities that are involved. No matter how intently you may be about overcoming your addiction, you cannot simply will your way through the recovery process.
Because addiction recovery involves physical, emotional, and psychological factors, you will need a professional treatment team who can help you address the various aspects involved. Depending on the severity of your addiction and the presence of any physical symptoms you may be experiencing, it may be necessary to have the support of detoxification unit that can help you safely withdraw from the prescription medication.
Taking the proper steps can ensure that you will achieve lasting recovery from prescription drugs in a safe and healing way.
The Tools Available to You
While the journey may seem overwhelming, be encouraged in knowing that these resources and tools are available to you as you seek to recovery from prescription drug abuse:
Ranging from psychiatrists to counselors to medical doctors, many health care professionals specialize in the treatment and recovery from drug addictions. Working with a collaborative network of addiction specialists will be an invaluable tool for your recovery and be the key towards reclaiming your life from addiction.
If you are not sure where to start, check out the Addiction Hope directory to find an addiction specialist near you. You can also find an addiction specialist through the Association for Addiction Professionals at NAADAC.org
Depending on the acuity of your addiction, it may be necessary to enroll in a drug addiction treatment program to full address the complexity of the disease. Treatment programs can range in levels of care and include residential centers to outpatient programs.
As you begin working with an addiction specialist, they can help you identify what type of program and level of care may be right for you. Addiction treatment programs can offer the structure and support you need to overcome your addiction.
Having a safe setting in which to process the highs and lows you may be experiencing in your journey can be helpful to your recovery from prescription drugs.
Support groups for recovery can offer much needed encouragement for overcoming the daily battles you are facing, and you will likely gain helpful feedback and wisdom from others who have walked a similar path before you.
Having regular and continued accountability through a mentor or coach can help you navigate through the ups and downs of recovery. Having a trusted mentor for guidance and feedback can be a beneficial tool for sustaining lasting recovery for years to come and throughout your journey.
A Daunting, But Worthwhile Journey
Recovery from prescription medications may seem daunting or unattainable because of the many complexities involved. Be encouraged in knowing that there are a myriad of resources at your disposal that can assist you in this process and help you become successful in overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs.
Also, the field of addiction treatment is filled with caring professionals, many who have overcome their own struggle with addiction, These professionals can provide essential encouragement along the recovery journey that you will, inevitably, greatly benefit from over time.
- Foundation for a Drug-Free World, “The Truth About Prescription Drug Abuse”, http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/abuse-international-statistics.html