Effects of prescription drug abuse

Chronic pain, anxiety and attention deficit disorders are some of the most common health issues in America. The CDC estimates that nearly 20% of US adults have chronic pain in a given year, and the National Institute of Mental Health makes a similar estimate for the number of adults suffering from anxiety. If you’re seeking help for any of these issues, it’s important to understand the effects of prescription drugs and their potential for abuse.

The effects of prescription drug abuse are being felt nationwide as the number of opiate deaths is on the rise. Drug manufacturing giant Purdue Pharma recently reached an $8 billion settlement with the Department of Justice for its role in the opioid crisis – but the fight is far from over.

If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, you’re not alone. Educating yourself about the most abused prescription drugs and their side effects is the first step to getting help.

Want to overcome the effects of prescription drug abuse?

Start with you health
What is prescription drug abuse?

Prescription drug abuse is any use of your prescribed medications that does not follow the instructions on the label. This includes taking them too much, too frequently or for off-label purposes. Prescriptions are supposed to be for your benefit. If you’re using the effects of prescription drugs to help you numb emotional pain, give you more energy or escape from reality, you may have a problem.

Many people can take prescription drugs as they’re prescribed; the result can be extremely helpful for their physical or mental issue. They’re taking the right steps toward recovery. Other people struggle with the effects of prescription drug abuse: The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 54 million Americans have non-medically used prescription drugs in their lifetime. 

If you notice that you have a tendency to wander off your path and err toward risky behavior, you’re putting yourself at risk of beginning a dangerous habit.

How to treat prescription drug abuse

When you notice signs of prescription drug abuse in yourself or someone you love, the first thing you must do is connect with a medical professional. A doctor or psychologist will be able to recommend a course of action or a treatment facility, but there are also a few things you can do on your own.

If you’re struggling with the effects of prescription drug abuse, it’s time to draw strength from others and learn how to fight back.

Find and build support

Is there a secret for why treatment groups like Alcoholics Anonymous work so well? It’s not just because AA delivers impactful strategies – it’s because the organization brings together a group of like-minded people determined to overcome their challenges.

The struggle with the effects of prescription drugs can be a lonely path. It can feel like there’s no point in picking yourself back up if no one is by your side cheering you on. If you continue to feel like you’re taking this challenge on alone, you start limiting your beliefs.

This isn’t your only option.

showing support for someone dealing with prescription drug abuse

Aside from attending group meetings organized for someone dealing with addiction, you can also rely on the positive people in your life right now. Surround yourself with the support and love of people who are already here for you, as you set out to recover from prescription drug abuse.

During your recovery, you’ll want to re-establish healthy relationships. Remind yourself what these people mean to you in your life and spend time with them. Don’t overthink it. This could mean having dinner with your loved ones on a regular basis or joining a soccer team with your coworkers. Being around other people that want to see you succeed will empower you.

Not sure who to turn to? You can ask a professional to guide you through your journey, like a trained Results Coach, to help you move past your struggles and toward your goals.

The power of reframing your thoughts

With the most abused prescription drugs, the effects aren’t just psychological. Your brain craves that substance on a biological level. When you decide to take responsibility and stop, your brain will wonder what’s going on. Your addiction will attempt to overtake your thoughts because it’s telling your body you need that chemical to survive. But you must recognize the physical and psychological consequences. You’ve decided that you’ve had enough, and you’re committed to breaking free from your addiction. Now, you need to reframe your thoughts.

woman dealing with prescription drug abuse

Catch yourself in the act: when you crave the effects of prescription drugs, what are you doing? Is it at a certain time of day? Are you using the drug as a response to some triggering event, like stress or personal conflict? Your mindset plays a significant role in the actions you decide to take. When you feel yourself beginning to think about using, transform your thoughts. You believe that you need these drugs to feel better, but it’s time to tell yourself a different story. Drop your negative thoughts as they arise and redirect your mind to positive goals instead.

Reawaken your passions

exercising to deal with prescription drug abuse

When was the last time you went after something you truly wanted? Have you forgotten about your goals in the pursuit of prescription drugs? Addiction is never productive. It steals your time and kills your dreams.

Take time to think about what you really want out of your life. Is it financial freedom? A loving relationship? Now, look at how the effects of prescription drug abuse can hinder these goals. Devise a plan to go after your goals and tell yourself that there’s nothing more important that will get in your way. With your true purpose at the forefront of your mind, you’ll leave your addiction behind – you’ll write a new chapter.

Prescription drug abuse runs rampant in America, but change starts with you. Speak with a medical professional about your course of action, then change your behavior through goal-setting and locating your support system.

Ready to overcome the effects of prescription drug abuse?

Defeating prescription drug abuse involves your entire being: mind, body and soul. Begin the path to holistic health today with the Ultimate Health Guide.  

Important note

The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.