Addiction comes in many forms, and sometimes those forms can result from trying to medicate your original addiction. When someone is addicted, that means that their body and/or mind is dependent on a particularly substance. To help them with the anxiety of withdrawal, they are sometimes prescribed medication to help ease the pain. But what can sometimes happen is that the patient becomes so dependent on the medication that they form a new addiction. At Recovery Care Partner, these prescriptions are only given with the upmost concern for the particular patient. We don’t just give medication to anyone. But what should we, the patients, do if the chance for addiction to this medication arises? Here are a few things to remember when taking prescription medication.
Addiction creates a mental and/or physical dependency in your body for a particular substance. Therefore, if one is trying to remove the addiction to that substance, sometimes that means using prescription medication to help the recovery process. Rather than becoming dependent on another destructive substance, the patient can use this medication to help them work through their withdrawals. However, the medication is not meant to be taken outside of the recommended prescription instructions. They shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol or other potentially addictive substances, and they also should never be taken more or less than the prescribed dosage. Doing this could be a sign of dependency and have unintended effects on the user. But if just taking the medications the way they are doesn’t seem to be currently helping, you can still resist the urge to abuse through other means.
One way to avoid prescription abuse is to contact either your Recovery Care Monitor or your doctor if you are starting to feel the desire to take more than your prescribed dosage. This is not a sign of failure or your inability to handle yourself, in fact this is quite the opposite. Recovery is a process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and as long as you are honest with your doctors and counselors, recovery will be achievable.
Another way to keep prescription addiction at bay is to take physical precautions that block the addictive effects.
Note: Only take these precautions if your doctor approves them.
One of these strategies is placing an unpleasant effect into the drug that appears if the drug is taken improperly. Another similar fashion is to have the drug mixed with an antagonist substance that counteracts the addictive sensation if it is also taken improperly. But the always ideal precaution is to contact your doctor and/or prescriber to figure out which way would be best for you to take your medication. They are more than capable of providing the proper adjustments to make sure that your medication has a positive effect on your recovery.Learn More
There are two types of public speakers. Some know what their talking about and how to articulate their message. Others unfortunately don’t know how to properly connect with the audience. If you are speaking to people recovering from addiction, you definitely want to be the former. Recovery is a tough process and emotional support is always a necessity. Public speakers offer a unique opportunity to speak generally and offer wisdom to those in need of encouragement. However, in order to make a positive effect, the public speaker needs to understand where the demographic is coming from.
Know the nature of addiction
When someone is getting treatment for addiction, the one thing that makes them uncomfortable is when people don’t understand their condition. Addiction is not a moral choice. It is a disease. Most of us would erase our addiction if we could. But unfortunately our bodies and minds are bullied by a compulsion that we wish we did not have. Speak to the audience with a firm understanding of what they go through every day.
Speak to them, not above them
Almost as important as what you talk about is how you say it. Do you talk outside of the audience, or do you speak as one of them? Usually a good public speaker for addiction has gone through a similar struggle and came out of it. They know the struggle, guilt, and compulsion that comes with living in the disease. The best thing you could possibly do, is to speak with a voice of honesty, patience, and love. You need to believe in your patients, because you know the value of someone believing in you.
Provide Realistic Hope
Information and strategies go a long way in recovery. But the only thing that gets anybody through a dark tunnel is hope. Hope needs to be more than just wishful encouragement; it needs to be an assurance of victory. When a person looks at a public speaker who has overcome their addiction, they will be reminded of the fact that the struggle can in fact be defeated. It reminds them that it is possible. The speaker needs to not only articulate that message of hope, but they also need to believe in it themselves. They need to know what it is like to yearn for help, and find relief. When it is all over, the people watching will finally see hope rather than being told new rules and strategies.
One of the many questions that we have when first confronting addiction is “does it run in my family?” Addiction is widely known as a chronic disease centered on a substance dependency that goes against our better will. But it comes from more than just a drug or chemical. It has roots in our genes and can pass on to different family generations. Although each person’s case is unique to them, there is a real connection between one person’s addictive tendencies, and their family’s genetic framework. In order to better work combat our addiction, it is important to understand who it works and where it comes from.
How Addiction Works
Addiction comes from more than just the usage of a particular drug; it could originate from one’s genetics. Let me explain: Addiction is generally the result of a substance taking advantage of the brain’s need for dopamine. Dopamine is a natural chemical in the central nervous system that allows someone to function calmly. Dopamine is often activated through a person’s need for something (i.e. an activity, drink, or person). So those born with lower amounts of dopamine in their system normally require a greater amount of it. In other words, the person is more susceptible to becoming addicted to something.
Genetics of Addiction
Since the low dopamine levels are a genetic condition, it can very easily pass on to the next generation. However, this does not mean that a baby can be born genetically addicted to drugs and alcohol. A father could be addicted to alcohol, while his son could be addicted to sex (even though he never touched alcohol in his life). The genetic dopamine levels do not make one susceptible to a specific addiction, they are just susceptible to becoming addicted to anything.
Good and Bad Addiction
However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. We are all addicted to something; the only problem is the subject of our dependency. Are we dependent on something productive or destructive? You could be addicted to regularly drinking tea and exercising, or you could be addicted to self-destructive substances and chemicals.
Addiction During Pregnancy
However, there is the possibility of babies being born addicts to a specific drug, most of the time this results from the mother using drugs during or prior to pregnancy. This is not however a result of genetics. This is because of the mother’s drug/alcohol dependency being fed straight to the fetus during development. This is a very unfortunate case, but it is treatable depending on the health of the child.
There is Hope
Whether or not the dependency is hereditary, addiction is one of the more treatable illnesses in the country. Recovery Care Partner’s drug and alcohol programs provide the best treatment for anyone’s condition, including the tools for families to handle their conditions together.
Imagine how tough it is to deal with addiction on your own. You want to get better, but often you can’t control the compulsion for another drink or hit. You feel like you’ve disappointed your family and friends, and you feel shame for every substance you take. Now you are beginning to understand what it is like for your friend or family member who is dealing with addiction. The one thing they need through this time is support. But what kind of support? Here are a few ways you can be there for your loved one in their time of need.
Don’t judge. Forgive
We all come from different backgrounds and histories. I’m not going to pretend like I know what your friend or family member has been through. They could have real scars and real destruction in the past. Or there could be stability and at somepoint things just went wrong. One thing I can say no matter what is that forgiveness is needed. Whether the person realizes that they have a problem or not, they still need you by their side. You cannot judge them or blame them for making that first mistake. A lot more things are out of our control than we realize, and blame doesn’t create any kind of healing. How can a person forgive himself or herself if they don’t realize that their parents, children, and friends already forgive them?
Be their Coach
Whether it is pre, mid, or post treatment, your loved one will be going through some serious pain. This will be both physical and psychological. Withdrawal symptoms are serious and are often the leading circumstance of relapse. Before the treatment, things can get pretty scary. And depending on the time away from the substance, they will need your constant coaching. You need to hold them and tell them whatever it is they need to hear in order to breathe. This can mean hours of holding them as if they were a child again. In post treatment, they will need you to understand the lessons they’ve learned, and therefore you will still have to be there to make sure that they stick to their goals. You will have to provide a positive, guilt free environment. Whenever a person comes home from recovery, they are fighting an internal war not to go back to their substance. So that means your job is to make home as welcoming and as supporting as possible.Learn More