Once upon a time in America (circa 1980’s), the mantra was “just say no to drugs.” Fast forward to the present day, when primary health care providers are prescribing powerful opioids and benzodiazepines to people who do not always use them as directed and can easily find themselves spiraling toward addiction.
Complaints of pain, anxiety, sleep disorders and depression are the keys that unlock the medicine chest. Unfortunately, our medical providers’ willingness to resort to drug therapy has unintentionally disabled many patients. The side effects (i.e. cravings, dependence, addiction) associated with powerful prescription drugs have altered lives, shattered relationships, and destroyed livelihoods. However, drug-seeking behavior can be identified and addressed early, if providers respect and follow continuum of care recommendations and interventions.
Ultimately, the benefits and risks of drug therapy need to be explained to patients in comparison to and in combination with other effective and less risky treatment modalities. Unfortunately, drug dependent patients are not looking for alternatives to drug therapy and sometimes choose to move on to a new provider who will write scripts for them.
Regrettably, the acceptance of prescription drugs in our culture has enabled the unbridled growth of drug and substance abuse. Education and policy are important factors in alleviating this problem. In the meantime, help is available from accredited addiction treatment centers.
If you or someone you love is struggling with prescription drug abuse or addiction, let us help. Contact us anytime at (877) 977-3268.