It can be difficult to know what makes it more risky for some than others to take prescription drugs. There are plenty of people who can take prescribed painkillers regularly and never develop a prescription drug addiction.

Contributing Factors to Prescription Drug Addiction

woman with headache fights prescription drug addictionWhat’s certain is that most of the time an addiction to prescription drugs starts innocently enough, with medication prescribed for an injury or illness. Your chances of becoming addicted to prescription drugs increase if you’ve ever struggled with addiction to another substance, such as illicit drugs or alcohol. Your chances also increase if you have family members that have struggled or are struggling with addiction.

There are a lot of contributing factors to addiction, whether to prescription drugs or other substances. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Childhood trauma such as physical or sexual abuse
  • Death of a loved one
  • Domestic or sexual abuse as an adult
  • Certain mental health disorders that may encourage self-medication

People who have mental health disorders that have not been correctly diagnosed may end up self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.

How Does Prescription Drug Addiction Start?

Unfortunately, there are many people unaware of the dangers of becoming addicted to prescription drugs. A prescription drug addiction can start with something as simple as pain pills for a migraine or toothache. In many case studies, patients recall liking the feeling of being on pain medication and find themselves taking more to strengthen the effects and make them last longer.

This feeling eventually creates a psychological and chemical dependency on the drug. Patients may run out of prescription refills and start finding other ways of getting the drugs, such as going to different doctors or stealing from friends and family.

Even being aware isn’t always enough to halt prescription drug abuse before it starts. Some people are simply more likely than others to develop an addiction because addiction is a disease and not a lack of willpower or mental weakness. For those struggling with addiction, the effects of an addictive substance can have a far stronger effect on the brain than it does on those without addiction.

This is often the difference between why some people can use pain medication without actually becoming addicted and others can’t. The good news is that addiction is a treatable disease. Patients can find successful treatment and recovery by attending a quality drug rehab center such as 1st Step Behavioral Health in Florida.

Treatment for Addiction to Prescription Drugs

When treating any addiction, whether prescription drugs, illicit drugs or alcohol, it’s necessary to take into account the substance used and its unique effects. The situation and needs of the patient are also key factors in creating the correct treatment program.

A successful treatment program may incorporate a range of therapies including:

  • Medical detox
  • Counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Experimental therapies such as yoga or music therapy

Sometimes a long-term program or multiple rounds of treatment might be necessary to help patients to fully recover. The primary categories of treatment for addiction are behavioral and medicinal.

Behavioral therapy, such as that offered at 1st Step, help patients learn strategies to live their lives without drugs, recognize and deal with triggers and handle the effects of a relapse if it occurs. These treatments help patients develop life skills to function in their communities, jobs and relationships. Opioid addictions can also be treated with medication to counter cravings and withdrawals.

Overcoming addiction may feel impossible, but there’s help available at a quality drug rehab center. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (855) 425-4846 to find out how you can reclaim your life from addiction.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.