When you’re sick or have suffered from a serious injury, the first few days after a visit to the doctor you rely heavily on the prescribed drug to ease the pain and get you through the day. However, you may reach a point where you feel compelled to continue taking the prescription long after you need it. The pain is gone, but the pill still has a hold on you that’s hard to shake.
Candace Plattor, a registered clinical counselor and addictions therapist, told The Cheat Sheet that she had become hooked on several prescription drugs many years ago. She said she trusted her doctors so she didn’t think to question the prescriptions she was getting or the effects they might have on her.
Plattor is the author of the book Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction, as well as a contributor for Pro Corner on Recovery.org. In regards to her own struggles with addiction, Plattor states:
I became addicted to prescription drugs (valium, codeine, and opioids) that were given to me by my doctors week after week, month after month, for several years. Even though that occurred a long time ago, the practice of prescribing potentially addictive medications is still happening and relatively common. Doctors are often not given much education about addiction, which, in my opinion, is a travesty considering how rampant addiction is in our society today.
An addiction to prescription drugs can happen to anyone and is more common than you may think. Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused drug category, coming after alcohol and marijuana. Roughly one in 20 people in the United States have admitted to abusing prescription painkillers in the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you think you or a loved one might have a problem with prescription drugs, there are some red flags you should watch out for. The Cheat Sheet spoke with some of the country’s top addiction experts to learn more about prescription drug abuse. Here is what they had to say about some of the signs of a prescription drug addiction.