OTC Drug Addiction
About Over-the-Counter Drug Addiction
There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to drug addiction. Some people believe that if their addiction is something new, then they really don’t have a problem and don’t need help. Another myth that is dangerous is the belief that addiction isn’t severe enough to seek help. Still, others believe that prescription or over-the-counter drug addiction is not a problem. Because it takes a short time to become addicted, you shouldn’t let the length of time you’ve been using to determine your need for rehab. It is imperative to stop addiction before your life unravels and you suffer dire consequences.
If you’ve noticed that you’re taking more of a drug to get the desired effects, it is possible that you’ve become dependent upon that drug. You might be surprised at the short amount of time that is needed for you to become addicted. Even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be a problem. With such drugs that you can buy whenever you want, you may not think you would need to worry about OTC drug addiction. However, having access to such medications whenever you want them can lead to such an addiction.
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You may feel that an OTC drug addiction isn’t severe enough to warrant getting help. However, OTC drugs can be just as dangerous and have many of the same consequences as illicit drugs when used improperly. Just because you’re not a heavy user of certain drugs certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek help for your addiction. The unfortunate truth about drug addiction is that as your body builds a tolerance to the substance, you will need to take more and more of the drug to get the same desired effects. So, even though you may feel your addiction isn’t severe, if left unchecked it will become severe and you may see your life spiral out of control. The most prominent negative effects of using drugs include:
- Strained relationships
- School and work problems
- Financial troubles
- Health problems
Therefore, even when dealing with an OTC drug addiction, it is best to seek help before you find yourself severely addicted and unable to get the help you need. The longer you let your addiction go, the harder it will be to break free. By getting help early, you’ll avoid many of the problems associated with long-term drug addiction.
The belief that certain medications aren’t dangerous or addictive because they have been prescribed by a doctor or are drugs you can buy at the store is very misleading. Misusing drugs can lead to many problems and even death in extreme circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you are taking prescribed medicine, OTC medications or recreational drugs. One can be just as dangerous as the other. Therefore, if you feel you have developed an OTC drug addiction, the single most important thing you can do for yourself is to seek rehab.
Once you’ve made the decision to seek help, you can be confident that a healthcare team will be ready to assist you and lead you to a great outcome. You will be closely monitored during the detox process. Since this can be quite uncomfortable, your doctors may prescribe medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal. A care plan will also be developed to help you overcome your addiction and keep you on the road to recovery. Support services, such as group therapy and support groups, will also be available to help you after rehab. With proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy life again without drugs.
Treatment for OTC Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is difficult to deal with, not only for the addict but also for the addict’s loved ones. Some people develop an addiction to prescription medications while others abuse over-the-counter drugs. Their use of such may have started innocently when they used the drugs for the intended purpose. However, addiction can take hold when someone keeps taking medications when they no longer need them because they enjoy the way the drugs make them feel. If you find yourself dealing with an OTC drug addiction, then it may be necessary for you to seek addiction treatment in Oregon. Our rehab center in Oregon can help you beat your addiction and get your life back. We offer several different services to ensure you get over your addiction and remain on the road to recovery.
A common misconception is that illegal drugs are the only ones that are dangerous. But, the truth is that some OTC drugs can be just as addictive as prescribed narcotics and illegal drugs. There are many OTC drugs that cause one to feel high which leads to misuse and then addiction. Many of these drugs have psychoactive, or mind-altering, properties which makes them just as dangerous as any other addictive drug. The misuse of OTC drugs can have long-term medical and mental issues. The harmful effects of these drugs are often compounded when they are combined with alcohol and/or other drugs.
Commonly Abused OTC Drugs
When you have a cold or other common ailment, the first thing you probably do is go to the store and buy an over-the-counter drug to get some relief. You get over your illness and never think about that drug again until you get sick again. But, for some people, it’s not this simple. Some people simply like the way an OTC drug makes them feel so they continue to take it even when they do not need it. This leads to drug abuse and addiction. The following are some of the most commonly abused OTC drugs.
- Dextromethorphan – Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient found in OTC cough syrups. This drug is popular among teenagers because it is cheap, easy to obtain and provides the high they are seeking. Misusing dextromethorphan can have several undesirable side effects such as nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, hallucinations, impaired judgment, dizziness, and seizures.
- Ephedrine – Although the Food and Drug Administration banned ephedrine in 2004, that hasn’t stopped people from getting their hands on it and abusing it. Ephedrine has been used in diet pills for weight loss. It is used in some asthma medications. It is common for someone to abuse drugs, such as for asthma, to achieve the weight loss that could have previously been achieved by taking diet pills that contained ephedrine.
- Caffeine – Pills and products that contain high amounts of caffeine are marketed to college students who need to stay alert and awake for classes and studying. Caffeine is safe when only the recommended dose is taken. The trouble comes when large amounts of caffeine are ingested at one time. The consequences can be fatal.
- Laxatives – People who suffer from an eating disorder may misuse laxatives. Often, after binge eating, laxatives are used to rid the body of the food eaten during the binge. The abuse of laxatives can have some serious health consequences such as loss of nutrients, dehydration, organ damage, heart failure, colon infection or colon cancer.
- Motion Sickness Pills – Motion sickness pills are antihistamines that are perfectly safe when used for their intended purposes such as for car sickness or plane rides. However, some people take too much of the medication to get a feeling of euphoria or relaxation. Higher doses cause hallucinations. Some of the other serious side effects include nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, amnesia, itchy skin, ringing in the ears, irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and stomach pain.
There are several other OTC drugs that can lead to addiction. It’s important to remember that if you’re deviating away from the dose and instructions you’ve been given for a drug, then you are probably abusing that drug.
OTC Drug Addiction Treatment Programs
When you have an OTC drug addiction, you need help. It’s not something you can just stop. It is nothing to be ashamed of and you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. There are many types of addictions. Some people suffer from food addiction while others suffer from a gambling addiction. An addiction to drugs is no different. Trying to take on the addiction yourself will set you up for failure because you need a support system and you need treatment.
- Inpatient Drug Treatment – Our Rehab Center in Oregon offers inpatient drug treatment. When you receive inpatient treatment, you will stay at our facility and participate in therapies and activities all geared toward your recovery. The medical staff is available 24 hours per day to monitor your health and progress.
- Outpatient Drug Treatment – For individuals who have some control over their addiction and have a support system consisting of family and friends, outpatient drug treatment may be a viable option. Someone who is in an outpatient drug treatment program is given all the options that are available to individuals in an inpatient drug treatment program. Outpatient drug treatment length will depend upon the level of addiction and the drug being abused. Typically, individuals will complete the treatment in 12 to 14 weeks while being on-site three to five days per week.
- Detoxification – When you’ve been taking a drug and have developed an OTC drug addiction, often it is dangerous to suddenly withdraw from the drug. Your body has learned to expect the drug and when it doesn’t get it, it can have a negative reaction. Common symptoms of withdrawal include a headache, racing heart, sweats, fatigue, and nausea. It is best to detox while under the supervision of an experienced medical team.
- Transitional Housing – Once you’ve completed our addiction treatment in Oregon, you will still receive support. Some people choose to live in transitional housing immediately following treatment. Transitional housing offers a safe environment free of alcohol and drugs and helps an individual make a safe transition from rehab to living on their own and developing strategies when temptation arises.
- Support Groups – Once you’ve finished addiction treatment in Oregon, it is necessary to maintain a support system to ensure you don’t relapse. You have less chance of relapse if you belong to a support group dealing with addiction. Often, these groups consist of recovering addicts who share the same issues, feelings, and temptations as you. A support group can greatly reduce the chances of relapse and will help you stay on the road to recovery.
Addiction can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter what your social status in society is, how much money you have or what you do for a living. You can fall prey to the vicious cycle that is drug addiction. If you find yourself suffering from an OTC drug addiction, you should seek treatment at our rehab center in Oregon. Many addicts fail to seek help because they have a fear of being judged. It is not our job to judge you. It is our job to help you and work to ensure you have a successful outcome. When you seek addiction treatment in Oregon, you can rest assured you’ll receive compassionate care in a non-judgmental environment. Don’t let that addiction rule your life one more day. Take control of your life and seek OTC drug addiction treatment today.