5 Tips for Getting Over a Prescription Drug Addiction
1. Attend Formal Addiction Treatment
For many individuals, attending formal addiction treatment is the only way to overcome prescription drug addiction. The NIDA states that, “while the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive.”
Formal addiction treatment either in an inpatient or outpatient facility will provide you with medication that curbs cravings and withdrawal symptoms (especially effective for those addicted to prescription opioids), and therapy sessions where you can discuss and learn ways to cope with cravings and triggers that you may encounter after or even during treatment. Attending formal addiction treatment is one of the best ways to get over prescription drug addiction and to have a solid base for your recovery.
2. Go to a Support Group Meeting.
Support groups meet all over the country, and there is usually one every day at least somewhere in your area. For many former addicts, support groups were just as integral to their recoveries as formal treatment was. Support group members meet other individuals who are working through their addictions and are able to make friends who understand what they are going through. These meetings provide support, a structured list of steps which lead to recovery, and the chance to have a mentor after whom they can model themselves.
3. Reach Out to Your Own Support System.
Knowing that there are people in your life who know and love you that support your decision to end your prescription drug addiction can be a wonderful motivator when all others may fail. For those in outpatient treatment, this is especially necessary, and they may want to ask someone to stay with them during this time so that they are not alone and can have someone to talk to. In inpatient treatment, being able to have family and friends come to visit you can actually make your stay more tolerable and remind you of why you’re really there.
4. Do Not Just Attend Detox.
The NIDA states, “Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.” If you do decide to attend detox, make sure you go into formal addiction treatment afterward. As stated by the NLM, most prescription opioid deaths caused by overdose “occur in persons who have just withdrawn or detoxed” who then do not attend formal addiction treatment.
5. Take Care of Yourself.
It’s important to understand, for many individuals, recovery from prescription drug addiction becomes a lifelong battle. If you were abusing prescription drugs for a long time, you will experience issues with your recovery and they will likely continue even after treatment. Relapse may occur, and you should remember to take care of yourself, not to berate yourself.
Getting over a prescription drug addiction for good takes patience, fortitude, and strength. You must remember to take care of yourself and make it easier on you whenever possible by choosing the facility, treatment plan, and life after treatment that works best for you. Your needs should come first and you must take care of yourself.