Prescription Drug Addiction: How to Prevent a Relapse

The battle against prescription drug addiction is not an easy one, so we understand why you want to know how to prevent a relapse. However, you need to understand that preventing addiction relapse is not a single battle. You won’t win just once, and that will be the end of it — it’s a battle you have to keep winning to ensure long-term sobriety.

Prescription drug addiction is as real as all other forms of addiction. The problem is, you may not even realize that you’re addicted to a prescription drug. Why? Because prescription drugs are given to you for a health condition. So while you’re steadily getting addicted to the prescription drug, you’re under the illusion that you’re still sick and you need the drugs.

If you’re a prescription drug addict, the best bet for you is to seek professional help. If you’ve already undergone treatment for prescription drug addiction, that’s awesome! We have some tips for you on how to avoid a prescription drug addiction relapse. But first, let’s establish a firm understanding of drug addiction relapse.

Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction Relapse and its Three Stages

It is essential to understand the entire process of relapsing after addiction treatment. You probably believe that a relapse just happens sometime after the recovery, and the addicts are often unable to explain it. It doesn’t “just happen”; it happens in stages. To know how to avoid a prescription drug addiction relapse, you need to understand these stages. 

Emotional Relapse

This is the first stage in the relapse process. It usually occurs when you remember a previous relapse or failure. At this stage, you start thinking that you don’t want to repeat it; you don’t want to fall back into it. So, you try to push it out of your mind.

However, that’s a problem. See, while you’re trying not to think about it, your emotions and the resulting actions are laying the foundation for another relapse. You’re not planning to relapse, so you deny the thoughts of a relapse. This can be risky.

This level of denial is risky because it will prevent you from taking adequate steps to prevent the progression of a relapse. The relapse is already in motion, but you don’t realize it. You must identify the early stages of emotional relapse and take action before it progresses. It will be easier for you to prevent a prescription drug addiction relapse if you’re able to take action at this stage.

Mental Relapse

This the second stage of the relapse process. This is often the stage where many people realize they are about to relapse. During this stage, you will find yourself in the middle of an internal struggle. You may have a strong desire to start consuming prescription drugs again, but you don’t want to. So there’s a struggle between the urge to retake the drugs and your desire to abstain from it.

You start craving the drugs. You may even feel sick (but you’re not ill, it’s just your mind playing tricks on you). You start reminiscing about people, places and feelings associated with using drugs in the past. For some people, they begin to justify why the need to use these drugs, usually by highlighting the positives and downplaying the negatives. 

The highlight of this stage is when you begin to plan methods of taking prescription drugs while maintaining control. You’re giving every excuse available to start retaking the drugs. At this stage, you need to seek professional help for drug addiction treatment in Vancouver.

Physical Relapse

This is the final stage of the relapse process. Here, you resume the use of prescription drugs again. Usually, you can control the use of the substance at first, but as time progresses, it will get difficult, and you may eventually lose yourself to it.

At this stage, you’ve already fallen back into prescription drug addiction, and you no longer need tips on how to prevent a relapse. What you need now is a treatment for prescription drug addiction. So, it will be best if you started your treatment all over again.

Causes of Drug Addiction Relapse

In your efforts to abstain from prescription drug abuse, you must understand the factors that may trigger your urges. Knowing these factors will help you a lot in your efforts to avoid a relapse. 

Here we’re going to look at some of the factors you need to look out for, as you try to avoid a prescription drug addiction relapse. 

Stress

Stress is the primary cause of relapse. We all experience stress at some points in our lives. It is entirely normal, but it becomes an issue when you start using your old habits to relieve stress. Many people struggling with addiction to prescription drugs often find themselves running back to those drugs when they get stressed out. 

Stress is not a good thing. We all always look for ways to relieve some stress. However, prescription drug abuse should not be one of those ways. Whenever you get stressed out, you shouldn’t go running to those prescription drugs for quick relief. 

Physical Triggers

These are places, people, objects, subjects and activities that trigger the urge to consume prescription drugs. These physical triggers will remind you of your addiction. They will remind you how much you enjoy taking those drugs and the instant gratification you derive from it.

These physical triggers are very dangerous and must be avoided by all means possible. This is because they often trigger the relapse from the second “mental” stage. At that stage, it becomes more challenging to prevent a prescription drug addiction relapse. 

Negative Emotions

Negative emotions such as guilt, anger and sadness are dangerous for anyone trying to recover from prescription drug addiction. Fear is the king of all these emotions. It is the biggest trigger. Because you’re afraid and you feel helpless, you get the urge to take the prescription drug to help you forget your fear.

Whatever happens, no matter how you feel, try your best not to rely on prescription drugs to eliminate your negative emotions. The basic rule of preventing a relapse of prescription drug addiction is to avoid negative emotions. And even if you do have them, try the following healthy distractions:

  • Yoga
  • Exercise 
  • New hobbies
  • Meditation 
  • Mindfulness 

Overconfidence

They say overconfidence precedes carelessness. This is true in this case. Overconfidence in your desire or ability not to go back into prescription drug addiction will blind you when relapse kicks in. The early emotional relapse stage thrives on denial and overconfidence.

When the thoughts of going back to using the prescription drugs again come in, overconfidence will help you discard the ideas. However, it will also prevent you from taking further actions to prevent the emotional stage of prescription drug addiction relapse. 

Prescription Drug Addiction: How to Prevent a Relapse 

Congratulations on winning your battle against prescription drug addiction. However, the war is far from over as there will be times when you will feel like going back. So we’ve provided some tips on how to prevent a prescription drug addiction relapse.

Set achievable goals and reward yourself accordingly.

This works every time, regardless of the type of addiction you’re dealing with. Setting achievable goals and milestones is a significant step in your efforts to win against your addiction. These goals can be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or all of them. 

Also, try to always reward yourself for the achievement of any and every goal you set for yourself. Doing that will make the whole journey much more exciting and fulfilling.

Avoid physical and emotional triggers.

We can’t emphasize this enough. Physical and emotional triggers are often the culprits in most cases of relapse. They often remind you of how much you enjoy using those prescription drugs. They remind you of the “fun” you had, and all the other things you miss from the days of using prescription drugs. You can’t afford to fall for those tricks.

Try your possible best to avoid all the things that remind you of the gratification you got from your addiction to prescription drugs. Replace these things with new activities and healthier hobbies. Try working out — a strong body is a healthy mind. Read motivational books and fill your time with healthy activities.

Join a support group.

Almost all addicts who were able to get over their addiction had support. You’re not alone in this, so, why should you fight alone? Join a support group where you can share your experiences and receive valuable support.

Seek professional help.

Nothing beats professional help and treatment. If you catch yourself slipping away, don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist or any other professional. It’s their job to save you from drowning in your addiction again.

Whatever may be happening, don’t hide away; try to get prescription drug addiction treatment in Vancouver. Seeking professional help early helps prevent a lot of damage.

Conclusion

You don’t have to suffer any more setbacks even after recovering from your addiction. Now you understand the various stages and causes of a relapse. Together with the tips we discussed on how to prevent a prescription drug addiction relapse, you have all the information you need. 

However, if you feel overpowered or you need further help, remember to check out addiction treatment services close to you. There’s no shame in asking for help; let the professionals assist you with your efforts. Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we offer first-class addiction treatment services. More importantly, these addiction treatment services will be tailor-made to your unique situation. Contact us today!

How To Treat Prescription Drug Abuse

There are some certain illnesses you may experience that require you to use addictive drugs for treatment. If you misuse these drugs, you may need help on how to treat prescription drug abuse. That is because you may begin to depend on these drugs well after recovery. 

Most of the time, patients with mental problems or drug addiction suffer from prescription drug abuse. And as much as these drugs are effective for treating different conditions, the number of addicts is increasing. According to a 2014 study, many Canadian students in grades 7-12 use prescription drugs. And about 37% of these students believe it’s easy to get pain relief drugs in Canada. 

Usually, all drugs have a common purpose: to cure patients of a certain illness or condition. However, due to the drastic relief that comes with these prescription drugs, most people tend to abuse them. They start to use them out of recommended medication schedules.

If you or a loved one are currently experiencing this, the next logical step is to get expert treatment for prescription drug addiction. In this blog, we will discuss the acceptable treatment options for this kind of addiction. But first, what prescription drugs do people get addicted to?

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

After completing your doctor prescribed medication, you shouldn’t feel like continuing those drugs. If you ever crave these drugs to feel happy or calm, you should see a doctor swiftly.  That’s because you may not notice you’re an addict until the case worsens. Therefore, it’s wise to see a professional who can provide ways to treat prescription drug addiction.

Essentially, when you use prescribed drugs for other purposes, you have abused the drug. And, as you may have guessed, abusing these medications comes with adverse effects. One major organ these drugs may attack overtime is your brain. Over time, you may come to notice some changes in your decision making and drug dependence habits. 

Remember, not every drug a doctor prescribes has addictive qualities. To that end, we will highlight some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in Canada. 

Opioids

If you’re in the medical line, you may already know the category of drugs under opioids. If you don’t know, opioids are drugs doctors prescribe for patients experiencing severe physical pain. 

Some examples of opioids with addictive qualities are codeine and morphine. These drugs have specific purposes, as they help to reduce and suppress pain excellently. Of course, opioids work when you use them in the right dosage. However, most opioids come with a euphoric feeling which you may start to crave even after your regular dosage. 

Benzodiazepines

If you have anxiety, emotional, or mental problems, then you may need a benzodiazepine drug.  Likewise, doctors can prescribe benzodiazepines for some mild illnesses such as a sleep disorder. This set of prescription drugs have a direct effect on your brain and nervous system. As a result, the probability of addiction is high.

Some examples of benzodiazepines are valium and Xanax. Medical practitioners always prescribe this drug reluctantly because of its unique nature. When you use this drug, it activates a chemical known as GABA. This chemical induces reduced brain activity that helps you feel sleepy and calm. 

The calm and relaxed feeling of this drug is one you may want after your dosage. And when you use the medicine for an extended period, you may need higher doses. That means you need more quantity to maintain that mood, which is drug dependence.

If your prescription drug addiction is to benzodiazepines, you need professional treatment. The withdrawal symptoms that come with this drug can be severe. Hence, it’s better to undergo the process with the safe, experienced care that addiction treatment centres in Vancouver can offer. 

Stimulants

A stimulant is one of the primary prescription drug people abuse. That is because stimulants give you sudden body strength and keep the whole system active. 

Almost every part of your body system gets affected when you use stimulants. Examples of stimulants are Adderall and Concerta. If you notice slow reactions and drowsy habits, you may have this addiction. 

Prescription drug addiction comes differently for everyone. Some of the factors that affect how you abuse drugs are; 

  • Genetics
  • Peer groups
  • Family.
  • Depression
  • Mental health

What are The Common Symptoms of Prescription Drug Addiction?

Before you consider how to treat prescription drug abuse, you must know the symptoms. With knowledge of these signs, you can quickly figure out how if you or a loved one has a need for prescription drug addiction treatment in Vancouver

Some symptoms you should look out for are: 

  • Frequent changes in your mood between sad and happy. 
  • Scattered sleep and food patterns. 
  • Replacing doctors frequently so you can get new prescriptions. 
  • Having depressive and suicidal thoughts.
  • Slow understanding and loss of memory. 
  • Sudden switch between aggressive and gentle behaviours. 

The Solution: How To Treat Prescription Drug Abuse

You may have become an addict unintentionally, but the effects of prescription drug abuse are deadly. Therefore, your best option is to focus on how to treat prescription drug abuse. 

However, trying to withdraw from prescription drug abuse without the help of an expert has its consequences. And in some cases, withdrawal can lead to severe medical conditions.

Of course, the side effects that come with withdrawal doesn’t mean you cannot overcome prescription drug addiction. It only means an expert needs to watch you closely. Here’s what you need to get rid of prescription drug addiction: 

Get Professional Help

The first step you should take is speaking with a professional. Firstly, professionals can confirm the exact type of prescription drug addiction you have. Likewise, they can help with tips you can use to get yourself back on track. Also, they can teach your family or support system how to help with your recovery.

Medication

You may be wondering how more medication can cure a prescription drug addict. Well, certain drugs can help suppress the addictive features of drugs. However, using these drugs requires supervision from a medical practitioner. 

Support groups

Joining a support or charity group during your addiction recovery can help excellently. Support groups give you the opportunity to express yourself clearly. There, you can meet people who understand your addiction treatment struggles and can provide effective tips. On the other hand, charity groups allow you to help people. These two acts will make you feel happy genuinely. 

Conclusion

Of course, you were not the one who decided that you needed the drug. But, an addiction to prescription drugs is deadly to your health. Therefore, you need to understand how to treat prescription drug abuse. This article highlights the best options you can employ to stop prescription drug addiction. 

Remember, the best way to fight any form of drug addiction is by seeking professional help. Here at Addiction Healing Centre, our years of experience means we understand different addiction conditions. As such, we can design custom treatment plants to help you break free from that prescription drug. Book an appointment to speak with an addiction treatment expert in Vancouver today!