In the first installment in this article series, we talked about effective methods for addicts to use pharmaceutical medications while minimizing their chances of abuse and relapse. Now, we’re going to discuss the risks recovering addicts take when they use prescription medications. A better understanding of these risks can help addicts, their doctors, and rehab clinicians to effectively mitigate both pain and risk of relapse. Substance abusers need relief from pain and mental stress like everyone else, and oftentimes even more so. However, they must take special precautions.

Prescribing psychotropic drugs and even narcotics to recovering addicts may not be ideal – but it is often necessary to achieve any significant pain relief. If the pain addicts experience during withdrawal or other periods of their recoveries isn’t mitigated, their long-term sobriety can be jeopardized. Treating a drug habit involves a great deal of physical and emotional stress, and lack of treatment for these pains can cause addicts to self-medicate and develop new addictions.

A lack of pain relief can also hinder the physical aspects of recovery from substance abuse. For instance, surgical patients’ tissues don’t heal as well when they are in great pain during their recovery processes. Furthermore, untreated pain can cause the nervous system to become so inundated with pain signals that the body will retain them post-recovery. Long-term, chronic pain often results in such patients.

Doctors and other healthcare professionals must balance their legal liabilities regarding prescriptions with their obligations to treat their patients’ pains. Drugs such as Vicodin, Percocets, and Valium are powerful painkillers, but they are extremely habit-forming when used incorrectly. Physicians must ensure that their recovering addict patients use only the recommended dosages, and they must also watch carefully for signs of dependency. Such assessments are crucial in preventing new addictions from forming.

These problems of prescription drug use apply to recovering alcoholics, as well. Since alcoholism is still a neurological condition which involves a physical substance dependency, it is not inherently different from addictions to illegal or prescription drugs. Even alcoholics who have never used other drugs are still at risk for relapses and new addictions if they improperly use psychotropic medications. It is essential for rehab clinicians and their patients alike to understand this; many people wrongly make fundamental distinctions between addictions to alcohol and “other” drugs.

If you’re struggling with prescription drug use or addiction, use the links below for a toll-free, no-obligation consultation. Whether you’re an alcoholic, an illegal drug abuser, or someone addicted to pharmaceutical medications, you need treatment. Addiction is a serious physiological condition with life-threatening consequences. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late. We are standing by day and night to take your call, and we want to help. We offer some of the best inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs in the country, and we have helped thousands of addicts take their first steps on the long but rewarding road to recovery.

For more information about getting the right help right now, click here for drug treatment centers in Florida that can help you no matter where you live.

Click here for a powerful alcohol addiction recovery program.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. Tomlinson is a former musician turned writer and editor. Having penned hundreds of articles and with 3 books in print in 80 countries, Mr. Tomlinson is available for occassional freelance projects with budgets higher than $25,000.