Prescribed Drug Addiction, or prescription drug abuse, in simple terms is the use of the given medicines for non-medicinal purposes. It is called prescribed because those medicines would normally be suggested by a doctor for an ailment. So, the question is how can that become an addiction? For instance, a painkiller can become a stimulant for this kind of addiction, where the patient feels relaxed and happy after consuming it. Consuming a medicine for non-medical reason will be termed as prescribed drug addiction.

According to the medical drug report of the UNO, 1 in 20 people between 15-64 years of age have used at least one drug. The report also highlights that 29 million people who use the drug are affected by various disorders.

The prescribed drugs are the second most used after marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs. As per the reports, the teens are more prone to such an addiction, as they take it thinking it is prescribed by a doctor so it will not harm them. But the reality is that any drug can cause harm if taken without doctor’s approval.

If one needs to get out of the addiction, there is a way out to it. All one needs to have is determination and patience. The ways through which one can exit the addiction zone are as follows:

  1. Behavioural Treatment
  2. Medication

1. Behavioural Treatment

The term primarily means a treatment that leads to a change in the behavior pattern of the patient. This change in the pattern can occur due to various therapies that come under this treatment.

a) Cognitive Behavioural Treatment

Under this type of therapy the patient knows, avoids and tries to cope with the relapse situations. According to the definition provided my Nation Association for mental illness, “Cognitive Behavioural Treatment is a type of psychotherapy that is different from the traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy because the patient and the therapist actively work together to help the patient recover from mental illness issues.”

It primarily examines the relationship between the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of the patient. According to therapists, the biggest hurdle of this is negative thinking. The therapist has to make sure that the patient is not thinking negatively, because that can cause a relapse. Under this therapy, the therapist tries to enhance the self-control of the patient by helping him/her to develop certain strategies.

b) Family Therapy

This therapy primarily involves the family members, who play a major role in the recovery of the patient. A person’s support system is usually his/her family, thus this therapy surrounds family. Under this therapy, the therapist tries to use the family’s strength to help the person live without drugs. There are a couple of ways in which the family can contribute :

By increasing the interaction with each other: If the family has undergone some problems, then they should come together and talk it out. Let the interaction amongst the family members increase. This way the patient will feel loved and cared.

Getting to learn what is good and bad for the person: With increased interaction, the family members will get to know the things that affect the person, the things that are good for the person. Thus it will, in turn, help the members to take good care of the person going through the addiction.

Coming together will bring the family members together. The family will be able to understand the nature of addiction. They will try to create an environment of sobriety and health. With this therapy, the family will also look out for the younger generations, so that they do not fall for this addiction.

c) Motivational Interviewing

The term motivational interviewing can be defined as an approach to move the individual away from the uncertain situations/thoughts and towards positive thoughts, which will help him/her to achieve the ultimate goal. The major problem that the drug addicts face is the lack of motivation. Thus this process is to primarily help the person to find a motivation to leave the addiction. In this, the therapist becomes the supporter and allows the person to take his/her own decisions. The main elements of this therapy are:

Collaboration: The therapist here tries to be empathetic and not dictate the person what is right and what is wrong. The therapist supports the person by putting himself/ herself in the person’s place.

Withdrawal of the negative thoughts: This is an important element. The therapist has to create an internal desire in the person to change. The therapist here listens more and talks less, thus becoming a good listener and making the person feel comfortable.

Liberty given: The therapist gives full liberty to the person to take his/her own decisions.

d) Incentives

They are a good way to motivate the patient to quite the consumption of substances. Under incentives, the patient is given rewards for his/her abstinence. This way the patient feels excited and tries to work towards getting it.

2. Medication

Prescribed drug addiction itself is caused due to the use of medicines, in an excess amount. But there are some medicines which if given in the right amount can cut the effect of the drugs. This is done under the supervision of a doctor, as the patient might have the tendency to use the given medicine as a drug. For instance, the consumption of opioids, stimulants etc is the root cause for this type. The medicines used to eliminate the effect of opioids ensure that the body does not show any signs of reactions. These types of medicines primarily help the body quit the use of opioid and help in recovering without any side effects.

The above mentioned ways can help the person to quit addiction and lead a normal life. It takes times to reach the state of normalcy in life, but one has to keep trying and stay motivated.