According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Several factors are likely to have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem: …increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed, greater social acceptability for using medications for different purposes, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies.”
For these reasons, as well as possibly many others, opiate prescription abuse is dangerously common today. It is important to be able to recognize when you may be in danger of abusing your prescription opioids and how to find the help you may need.
Am I Abusing or Likely to Abuse My Prescription Opiates?
There are certain questions you should ask yourself about your drug use if you are unsure that it has become abusive. These include:
- Am I taking my medication more often, in higher doses, or for a longer period of time than my doctor prescribed?
- Have I begun to take another medication or drug in place of the medication I was prescribed to take?
- Have I ever lied about my prescription or falsified information in order to get more medication?
- Has the main reason for my drug use become related to the euphoric feeling the opioids cause and not pain relief or another issue for which they were prescribed?
- Have I begun to feel that I do not need the medication but am continuing to take it anyway because I like how it makes me feel?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are already abusing your prescription. However, if you haven’t begun to do so yet, you may be in danger of abusing the opioid that has been prescribed for you. Answer the questions below in order to find out:
- Am I experiencing extreme tolerance to the drug I am taking, to the point where I have considered taking more to counteract it?
- Do I feel that I am dependent on the drug and that I am unable to get up in the morning or do anything without it?
- Do I watch the clock when I am waiting to take my next dosage?
- Have I considered taking more of my medication, taking it more often, or taking it in a higher dose than I was prescribed?
- Have I considered switching to another medication that I was not prescribed or taking illegal substances?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in danger of abusing your opioid prescription. It is important to seek help immediately.
Where Can I Find Help?
According to the National Library of Medicine, “There are different types of treatment for drug abuse. But the best is to prevent drug abuse in the first place.” If you believe that you are in danger of abusing your opioid prescription, you likely are. You can find help by talking to your doctor, choosing to attend treatment at a rehab clinic, or attending support group meetings.
Often, the best way to start is to talk to your doctor. You can also call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? to find out about treatment centers in your area and other ways to prevent dangerous drug abuse.