Prescription addiction is one of the many drug problems we have to face in society today. Although you may hear more about illegal drug abuse because it is apparently more newsworthy, it does not mean it is the biggest problem. In fact, legal drugs can be even more dangerous because of how easy they are to access. A recent study done by the University of Derby has identified potential triggers that put users at risk of becoming dependent on legal drugs
The Painkiller Use Triggers
The triggers can be anything from emotional stress to frequent need for painkillers and prescription drugs. Even though their frequent need for legal drugs may be totally valid, the frequent use of the drugs usually leads to drug abuse.
Additionally, those who suffer from emotional stress may be more likely to be addicted. They may be going through a tough time and find that the drugs help to numb the emotional ache. This could then develop into a need for the drug to escape their reality. Triggers can appear anywhere from the user’s social media profile or the emotional struggle they may be facing in a relationship with a loved one.
Who is Vulnerable to Prescription Addiction
The study by the University of Derby found that there are three types of people who are most likely to be addicted to legal drugs. Those who were more frequent users of painkillers become addicted more frequently than those who have only needed prescription painkillers once or twice in their entire lives. Those who had a prior history of substance abuse, often unconnected to pain relief, were also more likely to get addicted. Finally, those who were psychologically less able to cope with and less accepting of pain, and had trouble interpreting their own feelings were more likely to get addicted.
This means that those who find themselves in situations where they are in pain, maybe they are chronically ill or they just like to be adventurous and take risks, are likely to find themselves in situations where they may require a painkiller to help them get through the healing process.
Having a prior history of substance abuse makes it easy to get addicted to painkillers. Painkillers can give one a high similar to other opioid based drugs legal and illegal and a clean past drug user may find that they get re-addicted to a painkiller they need for something like a broken leg or some nose surgery.
How to Avoid Prescription Addiction
The easiest way to avoid addiction is always going to be abstinence. However, in some cases painkillers are necessary to get through some intense pain. In these cases, it is best to stick to exactly what the doctor recommends. In some cases, the doctor may recommend more painkillers than you find you need. Check with your doctor, because it may be okay to stop using the drugs before you have gone through your entire prescription.
Another way to avoid prescription addiction is to find activities that help you to de-stress. Finding a simple way to de-stress at the end of the day or the work week, that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol, like going for a walk or watching a funny show, can prevent you from being emotionally stressed. Without the emotional stress, you’ll be able to cope with your pain easier and therefore be less likely to get addicted.
Finally using prescription painkillers is up to the user. Depending on how much or how little you use, it is always within your power to avoid triggers that may cause you to get addicted and lead a happier, healthier life.