What Should I Do If I’m Addicted to Multiple Medications?

What Should I Do If I’m Addicted to Multiple Medications?According to a 2010 study by the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of people who took multiple prescription medications increased to 31% in the past decade. Moreover, the rate nearly doubled to 11% for users taking five or more drugs. While using multiple medications may treat physical and mental health disorders, this kind of drug use is also associated with addiction and drug abuse. According to the World Psychiatry journal in 2007, approximately 50% of adults with severe mental illnesses also abuse drugs. Therefore, this is a common problem, but addicts may have concerns about getting help for multiple addictions and disorders. However, rehab centers can address both problems at the same time, so seek help to begin recovery.

Effects of Multiple Addictions

Whether drug use is medicinal or recreational, developing multiple addictions can present any of the following health risks:

  • Physical and behavioral side effects develop and worsen quickly
  • Using multiple drugs simultaneously increases the risk of danger
  • Certain drug combinations can damage organs and create other health problems
  • Many prescription overdoses involve multiple prescription medications

The elderly, who commonly take multiple medications, have even greater health risks due to age and preexisting conditions. Likewise, addicts with co-occurring mental health disorders also risk the following problems:

  • An accurate mental health diagnosis is more difficult with a comorbid addiction
  • Addiction causes neurobiological changes that interfere with mental health
  • Substance abuse might suppress symptoms, but the mental illness is likely growing worse
  • Abusing certain drugs can accelerate and intensify mental disorders

The risks of addiction should outweigh any reservations about getting help, as should knowing how treatment would address both issues.

Treating Multiple Addictions

Rehab typically begins with detox, which can include the following treatment methods:

  • Using certain drugs to provide more comfort and safety
  • Medical supervision to monitor detox and to apply necessary treatment
  • Optional holistic therapies to help patients relax and minimize withdrawal symptoms

The staff also screens, diagnoses and treats mental health conditions with the following therapies:

  • Behavioral therapies that improve mental processes associated with conduct
  • Counseling to identify problems that trigger mental illnesses and substance abuse
  • Use of non-addictive medications to treat the mental health problem
  • Developing strategies to minimize or eliminate symptoms of mood disorders

Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and eating issues are all common problems associated with addiction, but rehab centers use integrated treatment to address addictions and disorders together.

Addiction and Physical Pain

Prescription drug abuse can also involve physical health problems, as with chronic pain patients who abuse opioid painkillers and sleep medications. These users may fear their problems will return during detox, but rehab centers can minimize the pain of non-narcotic treatments with the following treatment:

  • Applying local anesthesia to the pain area with a steroid injection
  • Holistic therapies like acupuncture, acupressure, stretching and yoga
  • Targeted exercise, conditioning, physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • The use of hydrotherapy, hypnosis, stabilizers and hot-cold applications

Likewise, if painkillers are necessary, the medical staff can change medications, vary the dosage and systematically wean patients off drugs. Recovery is possible with the right care.

Help Overcoming Multiple Addictions

If you are addicted to multiple medications, seek professional treatment. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline so one of our admissions coordinators can help you find treatment, transportation and sobriety. They can also check health insurance policies for treatment benefits, so call now for instant help.