Monday, June 16, 2008

Dealing with Drug Addiction

A lot of people have the misconception that drug addicts are only those that snort cocaine and inject themselves with drug solutions in the hopes of getting high. But there is another sort of drug addict that is closer to home. This type can be so close that you don’t even recognize him or her for what he or she is even if he or she is standing in front of the mirror.

Pain medications, painkillers, and other types of medicines are and can be used as drugs – the only problem is, they are legal and are often considered safe. But the truth is, they can be addicting especially if they are used improperly and without medical supervision. If you are using prescription medications in ways that are not sanctioned by your doctor, you may be an unwitting dependent. Here’s how to get back on track:

Recognize symptoms of painkiller addiction.

Some of the most common symptoms of painkiller addiction include taking pain medication in unapproved dosages, using it longer than the prescribed treatment period, and getting anxious when there is low painkiller supply.

Talk to your doctor.

Admit your past activities and ask for help and advice in surviving painkiller addiction. With his help, you can develop a painkiller addiction management plan. He can also give you advice on how to prevent a relapse. It is also a good idea to visit your doctor regularly so he can monitor your progress.

Taper off your intake of painkillers.

Gradually lessening the dosage of the drugs you take lets your body get accustomed to increasingly lower dosages which can make quitting easier. You can also ask your doctor for healthier substitutes that can produce the same painkiller effect.

Manage withdrawal symptoms.

Extreme discomfort, diarrhea, restlessness, cramping, and craving are among the most commonly experienced withdrawal symptoms. Distraction techniques like playing, watching TV, reading, and listening to music can help stave off the craving, discomfort, and restlessness. Taking medication for diarrhea and using hot compresses on cramps can also help alleviate these symptoms.

Detoxify your system.

Traces of painkillers in the body prolong the addiction and make quitting harder. Detoxification can help you remove all traces of painkillers from your body. You can detoxify by drinking water, teas, and fruit juices. Sweating, through exercise, is also a good detoxification method.