There are many reasons individuals may develop a prescription drug addiction. Whether it is because of trauma, a poor childhood, or a mental condition, many people turn to the use of prescription drugs as a method of coping. The same goes for those who experience autoimmune disorders, as many people who struggle with one or more of these conditions begin abusing prescription drugs to manage the many side effects associated with their disorder. This can become extremely dangerous, worsening their autoimmune disorder while introducing an addiction.
How Do Autoimmune Disorders Cause Prescription Drug Addiction?
Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Graves’ disease, Addison’s disease, celiac disease, and type I diabetes are some of the most common autoimmune disorders. Each one of these disorders can produce a number of side effects that predispose an individual to abusing prescription drugs to cope. Some of the many ways in which these types of autoimmune disorders can cause prescription drug abuse include the following:
- Physical pain – Some autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, create extreme physical pain that makes it nearly impossible for individuals to function on a regular basis. In many cases, these are prescribed painkillers, however they might begin abusing them to make their pain non-existent rather than just manageable.
- Anxiety – Some autoimmune disorders can be deadly, which can cause an individual to become anxious about their physical health. This anxiety can be so crippling, that it causes individuals to feel overly devastated with their diagnosis, as well as anxious about their future. To numb their fears, individuals may abuse prescription drugs so they do not have to think about their terminal diagnosis on a regular basis.
- Accidental addiction – Many autoimmune disorders require prescription medication, which can easily become habit-forming, even if they are not aware that they are dependent on them. This type of accidental addiction is very common, and can spiral out of control if not caught early.
The side effects of autoimmune disorders, such as physical pain, anxiety, and dependency can all create prescription drug addiction.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Treatment for prescription drug addiction often includes a period of detox, as well as intense therapy (including psychotherapy, individual, and group therapy). During this time, individuals who have autoimmune disorders can learn how to cope with their condition in a healthy way rather than abusing prescription drugs. By doing this, they can not only salvage their health, but also learn how to effectively cope with the struggles that accompany their autoimmune disorder.
Do You Need Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction?
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