Are You Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

addicted to prescription drugsI remember watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where Dr. Mehmet Oz was talking about America’s addiction to prescription medications. The show was primarily about pain-relieving, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications, the primary drugs people get addicted to.

It was an intense show and, although I know that Americans take too many prescriptions, I wasn’t prepared for the statistics. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that more Americans are addicted to prescription drugs than to heroin, cocaine and ecstasy COMBINED! They report more than 6 million people are addicted to prescriptions. YIKES! Those are staggering numbers.

Are you one of them? Chances are that either you, or someone you know, is taking a prescription. Unfortunately, Americans are being brainwashed into assuming, because the drugs are being prescribed by your physician, they are safe. That is simply untrue.

Have you ever read the multiple pages of “Side Effects, Contraindications, Warnings and Interactions” included when you pick up your prescriptions? You should… It will be a wake-up call. We have to do a better job about managing our pain or depression, rather than mindlessly reaching for a drug.

I agree with Dr. Oz when he states, “…..many people taking prescription drugs — legally or illegally — are hiding from their real problems. Instead of addressing painful emotions or aches, addicts swallow a quick fix.” Also, “We use these pills to numb ourselves to what’s really happening in our life, which is often a wake-up call to make a change.”

Of course, one of the main problems with taking all of these drugs: People don’t realize they have options.

While flipping through a magazine, watching TV or even listening to the radio, I’m absolutely certain you have heard an ad about a fantastic new drug that can “cure what ails you.” The media and Big Pharma are constantly bombarding us about drugs… You can’t escape them.

But most people don’t realize there are other ways to deal with what ails them that can be just as effective and far safer for them. Instead of addressing the real cause of the problem, unfortunately, we’d rather mask that symptom with a drug.

That’s not surprising. We do live in a world where we want instant gratification.  We want it fixed now and don’t want to be uncomfortable while we’re fixing it either.

I have met with countless clients over the years who have been addicted to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs. In my opinion, this is the worst kind of addiction. In the beginning, they thought it was harmless enough. Just a little “help” to get them over the divorce/loss of job/boyfriend troubles, etc.

Then it turned into numbing. I always know when I’m talking to someone who is addicted. When I ask them a question — How do you feel? — they can’t answer it.

The drug has numbed them so much they are unable to get in touch with their emotions and express themselves. Whether it’s mad, sad, happy, or even depressed, they can’t feel anything at all. Of course, when they are ready to get off the drug, the predominant emotion people feel is FEAR. They are scared to FEEL. They don’t know it at the time, but that’s what it boils down to.

I strongly believe it’s those very emotions that can actually HELP people get better. The anger they feel is there for a reason: To tell them something about their life. If they are depressed, they need to look at WHY and work on fixing that problem. Drugging yourself so you don’t have to FEEL anything is not the way to handle it.

If you’re on prescription meds, you can get off them, but you will need help. Doing it on your own is not advised. You will need nutritional help, as your diet plays a huge role in the way your brain chemistry works. Naturopaths and holistic healers can help you slowly and safely wean off of dangerous prescription drugs.

As you start to feel withdrawals from a drug, your brain chemistry will be affected and eating certain foods (and not others) can make this process significantly easier. You will also need nutritional supplementation to help your body physically deal with the damage from the drugs and help to boost your immune system.

And, of course, talking to a qualified therapist or priest can help you with the emotional side of this problem and help you work through whatever it was making you anxious or depressed in the first place.

The important thing is to remember this: You do have options to help yourself heal from addiction to prescription medications.  There are MANY different natural healing modalities that work as well (if not better!) than prescriptions.

Before taking a single step, however, you must be able to answer all of the following questions with a simple Yes.

  • Are you willing to work on yourself?
  • Are you ready to address the real problem?
  • Can you face what’s uncomfortable about your life and make changes?
  • Can you put yourself, your body and health first in your life and do what’s in YOUR best interest?

If you are, it’s time to have a talk with your regular physician and discuss their approach for very slowly weaning yourself off of the meds. The next conversation should be with a qualified natural health practitioner who can give you the nutritional support so you can make this transition as easy for yourself as possible.

I have wonderful Natural Health Services that can help you manage this transition. Be sure to read my Testimonials to discover what others have said about working with me regarding their emotional and physical health.

And, lastly, get in touch with a good therapist or priest. It must be someone you trust and with whom you can discuss your innermost thoughts.

You don’t have to be addicted nor take the medications forever. There is help and hope out there for you.