Can You Recover from Prescription Drug Abuse?

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in many areas of the world. While medications offer many benefits, there is also the possibility of developing physical and emotional dependency on those same drugs. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the drug abuse and regain control of your life.

Medical Detox and Withdrawal

With many prescription drugs, it is not an option to simply stop taking the medication. Doing so can trigger a wide range of undesirable side effects. In addition, suddenly ending usage can be very uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. Rather than trying this approach cold turkey approach at home, it is best to undergo medical detox under the care of a physician.

The detox phase may involve incrementally lowering the dosage over a period of time and careful monitoring of the patient. Depending on the severity of the prescription drug abuse, medical detox may take a few days or even a week.  Keep in mind that the physician will monitor the reactions of the patient and may need to delay further treatment until the person has no drug left in their system at all.

Rehab for Prescription Drug Abuse

After getting clean, an individual suffering with prescription drug abuse must undergo therapy to address the behavioral issues caused by addiction.  In therapy, a person will learn to cope with their triggers, identify strategies to avoid relapse and determine a plan for long-term recovery.

Counseling and Group Support

No matter the severity of the prescription drug abuse, individual and group therapy is critical in helping a person overcome addiction. Trained counselors can aid patients in understanding what is happening to them, identifying the underlying reasons for the abuse and teaching them strategies for overcoming triggers.

Along with private counseling sessions, the therapist may also recommend group counseling in a support group environment. This approach allows the addict to interact with others who are also dealing with prescription drug abuse and draw inspiration from their experiences. Many addicts feel that they are alone and that no one really understands what they are going through. By being involved in a group effort, they feel less alone, less judged and more motivated to kick the habit.

Prescription Drug Abuse and Loved Ones

Substance abuse doesn’t affect just the individual suffering from drug abuse. Loved ones often feel helpless when it comes to dealing with any type of substance abuse. They want to help but simply don’t know how. This is where counseling can also help. Therapists can help loved ones identify ways to support addicts in their recovery efforts. The counseling may take place in a group setting or involve individual sessions. If you know someone who is dealing with an addiction to prescription medication, take the time to educate yourself on how you can participate in the recovery process and offers the support that is so desperately needed.Family therapy can be very healing for family units that are coping with prescription drug abuse.  Like individual or group counseling, family therapy gives each family member the opportunity to express their feelings, hopes and desires to each other.  It allows a family unit the opportunity to forgive and to heal their wounds.