American’s are prescribed a lot of drugs and therefore, to put it bluntly, we take a lot of drugs.
The numbers are astounding.
Back in 2015, findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study showed that 45.8% of the U.S. population used a prescription drug in the prior 30 days. As expected, that number rose with age with 85% of those over 60 using a prescription.
Think about that for a second, that’s very nearly 1 in 2 of us.
By and large, most folks don’t have an issue and the medications they’re prescribed do the trick.
However, that’s simply not the case with everyone and the more people who fill prescriptions, the more likely it is that instances of abuse and addiction will creep in.
What Is a Pill Addiction?
The beauty of modern science is that it’s slowly but surely led to the betterment of so many people’s lives by creating solutions to the many things that ail us throughout our lives. Most often that now comes in the form of easy to swallow pills.
From opioid analgesics for pain to amphetamines for ADHD to sedatives for help sleeping there, are over 45 therapeutic categories of drugs according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While addiction isn’t necessarily a risk for those taking antifungals or blood glucose regulators, it is very much a real risk for someone prescribed opioids for severe pain or a benzodiazepine like Xanax for generalized anxiety disorder.
Certain medications and pills just aren’t meant to be taken long term as the risk for adverse effects as well as misuse, dependency and addiction can appear.
An addiction to drugs, be it in pill form or otherwise, is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as a “chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. Those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs”.
For drugs like opioids, even taking them strictly as directed can lead to an addiction due to their drastic effects on the brain.
Just like an addiction to anything else, there will be signs of a pill addiction you can keep an eye out for. While some will be drug-specific, many symptoms run the gamut of addiction:
- Developing a tolerance to the pills and needing a higher dosage than the prescription calls for
- Going to multiple doctors for prescriptions
- “Losing” prescriptions or meds in order for a doctor to write another prescription
- Taking pills “just in case”
- Continuing to use even after the initial condition or reason for the prescription has been resolved
- Increasingly secretive behavior
- Withdrawing from friends, family and activities
- Changes in mood
- Depending on the drug, appearing to be high and overly energetic or heavily sedated
- Taking pills even after it’s clear it’s causing problems in your life
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking pills
If you’re experiencing any of the above, you might be wondering “how do I find a rehab for pill addiction near me?”.
How Inneractions Can Help With a Pill Addiction
It’s tougher to kick an addiction than to fall into one.
Luckily, just as science has given us plenty of answers in the form of medication, it’s also provided evidence-based treatment for when we find ourselves struggling to let go of those pills. At Inneractions, our team of 25+ experts have decades of combined experience in guiding people back to sobriety through education, compassion and proven techniques. Reach out to us today if you or a loved one is grappling with a pill addiction and let’s start down the road of recovery together.