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Addiction for Pills

We have commonly heard of addiction to illicit drugs such as heroin, but one can also get addicted to prescription and certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well owing to their mind-altering (psychoactive) properties. Prescription drugs most commonly abused include stimulants, opioid painkillers and depressants. Commonly abused over-the-counter medications include cough and cold medicines.

While prescription and OTC drugs are helpful in managing and treating many physical and mental conditions, when taken in excess or without necessity can influence the brain as an illegal drug would - a sense of euphoria, which can become addictive. Abuse of pills can affect ones decision-making and judgement, leading to dangerous behavior, and affect health by causing depressed respiration, heart failure, permanent brain damage, coma and even death.

You are considered to be addicted to pills and need help, if you:

  • Use medications that are not prescribed for you.
  • Administer doses higher then prescribed to you.
  • Inhale or inject the powdered form of the tablets instead of swallowing them. When taken this way, the drug enters the bloodstream and brain faster, intensifying its effects.
  • Use the drug for pleasure.

The first step to overcoming this addiction is recognizing and accepting that there is a problem and the need for a solution. If you find yourself to be addicted it is necessary to seek help immediately. The first step in treatment is detoxification. Medications are administered to counteract the effects of the abused drug, avoid withdrawal symptoms and overcome cravings. Counselling is usually required with a psychiatrist, psychologist or addiction counselor. Your doctor may also recommend rehabilitation programs and self-help groups. All efforts are made to ensure that there is no relapse once you go back to your regular activities.

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