Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quitting Pain Pills – A How-To Guide

You, like many people, may have begun taking pain pills to address a knee injury or aching back. Initially, there was no cause for concern. The pain was reduced and your daily activities could commence as per usual. Why worry? After all, the medication you take is prescribed by a licensed physician – How bad could it be? Unfortunately, these substances carry a high risk of dependency with long-term use. If your pain medication use seems to have spiraled out of control, it’s important you seek help as quickly as possible.


1 – Discuss your concerns with the doctor. Avoid catering to any feelings of embarrassment of guilt. With your physician’s help, organize a plan of action. The intensity and length of your withdrawal will ultimately depend on the  amount of time you have been taking the medication.

2 – Enroll in a drug addiction detox program. Any attempt to stop taking the medication abruptly – without proper care – could result in a variety of symptoms, including seizures, tremors, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and suicidal thoughts.

3 – Make a commitment to at least 7 – 10 days of medically monitored detox. Once you’re admitted to the facility, an addiction counselor will guide you through a thorough exam to inspect your vital signs and obtain a basic idea of how long you will need to remove the drugs from your system.

4 – Communication is key. Be sure to keep a log of any symptoms you experience, and provide them to your doctors and counselors. Typical symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, sadness, aches and fatigue. If these symptoms begin to escalate, you must inform your physicians immediately.

5 – Locate a local area Narcotics Anonymous (NA) treatment program and begin attending meetings on a daily basis. Addiction recovery is a life-long struggle, and you’ll need all the support you can get.

6 – Once you’ve detoxed, you may be left with pain from the prior condition. Seek out a pain management specialist who can provide nonnarcotic medication and treatments such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, acupressure and occupational therapy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

All About Prescription Drug Use

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re at the point where you’d wish to stop taking prescription medications. Whether for pain, anxiety or depression, abuse and addiction are common issues. Once control is lost, it can be difficult to regain. In this entry, we will outline a few steps to take on the path towards prescription independence.

1 – As a preventative measure, it’s always important to discuss any new medications with a licensed physician prior to use. Determine whether the substance is addictive, and educate yourself regarding the long-term effects associated with use.

2 – Plan out your medication use. If you do not expect to use an entire prescription, it’s important you know exactly how you will dispose of the leftovers. Search prescription drug donation programs online, or simply allow your local waste management service do its job.

3 – Educate yourself on the symptoms of drug addiction. The quicker you are able to catch a problem, the easier it will be to address it. Knowledge is power! Put it to good use.

4 – If you have indeed gained a tolerance and become dependent on the medication, a quick call to your physician can place you in touch with an addiction treatment facility.  There, a team of addiction specialists can properly address the issue while catering to your physical and mental states to ensure a healthy recovery.

5 – If medication is required to address an issue, try asking your physician for a list of alternative drugs and treatments. Medicine has progressed quite a bit throughout the years. In some cases, you may be able to achieve the same results without the pills. You never know unless you ask!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Relapse Risks: Know What To Avoid

Overcoming a substance addiction is perhaps one of the most difficult things a person can do. The battle to maintain sobriety and healthy life habits is often a constant battle. As with any long-term challenge, some days are inevitably better than others, but many triggers and dangers exist that can potentially end your “win-streak”. Knowing which triggers to avoid is half the battle.


The areas you used to hang out at and the individuals you were surrounded by while you were using should be avoided. Placing yourself around these factors will only build a desire to relapse. Humans enjoy familiarity and comfort. If you choose to be around those influences, it will seem off without the usual cocktail or substance. Peer pressure is yet another factor to consider when choosing activities and social outings.


Unfortunately for most of us, stress is an inevitable part of life. The connection between stress and addiction is extremely strong. As such, it’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to feel challenged in their recovery during difficult periods. Drugs and alcohol often offer a perceived safe haven from emotion and turmoil while adding to the issue at hand. In order to properly counter stress levels, they must be address head-on in a positive and healthy manner. Indulge in a hobby, take in a movie, go for a jog. Give yourself something to do that will put your mind at ease will moving away from desperate measures.

Irresponsibility and Isolation

Removing yourself from friends, family and the world at large will do little to aid your recovery progress. Seek out new acquaintances and call up old friends who are supportive of your sober lifestyle. The more positive influence you have in your life, the less likely you’ll succumb to boredom or depression – both common triggers. The best advice to the recovering addict is always “stay busy”!

Need Help?

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, Above It All treatment center is the place to call. Pick up the phone today and let our team of addiction specialists help you back on track towards the healthy, happy life you deserve.