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Prescription painkillers and sedatives, alcohol, and in some states, marijuana – all these substances can be legally obtained across the country. For some, medicinal use of prescription drugs can be a lifesaver, allowing them to be pain-free, anxiety-free, or manage other disorders. Similarly, most people have a “normal” relationship with alcohol and can manage their intake without a problem. For others, misuse or abuse of these substances can change their lives – or end them – if they develop a chronic abuse or addiction issue and don’t get treatment in time.
Fact: ‘Legal’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Safe’
One of the issues is that too many people mistakenly believe that if a doctor prescribed the pill, it’s inherently safe. However, doctors choose to prescribe certain medications in specific doses according to the medical history and current condition of the patient. Additionally, should the patient experience complications, they can immediately seek assistance and have their dose or medication changed. Just because one person was given a certain medication to treat a specific ailment, it doesn’t mean that the same medication in that same dose will be the right choice for someone else with a different medical history.
In a similar way, someone who is prescribed a medication to be taken on a certain dosing schedule will be outside the bounds of safety if they choose to alter the doctor’s orders in any way. Crushing pills before snorting them or injecting them, taking more than prescribed, or combining the pills with other substances are all deadly choices, and they are all defined as prescription drug abuse even if the person has a prescription for the pills.
Fact: Misuse of Legal Drugs Can Lead to Addiction
Alcoholism, prescription drug dependence, and dependence on marijuana are possible if these legal substances are misused for any period of time. Physical dependence can take a few weeks or months to develop depending upon the frequency of use, but psychological dependence can begin almost immediately.
Craving the drug of choice and/or using it to escape or numb difficult feelings, including boredom, are sure signs that there’s a problem. Also, experiencing difficulties in everyday life due to use of the substance – financial problems, health issues, problems at work, relationship struggles, etc. – can also indicate that substance abuse is getting out of hand.
Can’t Moderate? Time to Seek Help
If you are, or your loved one is, unable to moderate use of legal substances despite the increasing problems caused by the behavior, treatment can help. Contact us at The Recovery Village today to learn more about how rehab can help put drug use in the past and recovery in the present. Call now. Reach out to our addiction specialists in drug and alcohol addiction in Sparks, NV with any questions you may have.