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Eating Disorder & Addiction Specialists Counselling for addictions, eating disorders & compulsive behaviour
Chelsea & Harley Street, central London

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Addiction to Prescribed Medication

One in four adults in England are taking addictive, prescription drugs to treat a range of conditions ranging from depression, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain; that's almost 12 million people.

Most people find themselves falling into addiction because they believe that prescription drugs are safe. And, while prescription drugs have been tested in laboratories and approved for treatment, their addictive qualities are often as powerful as the illegal drugs you might find on the street.

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Some Facts About Prescription Medication

Addiction to prescription medication has a distinct socio-economic aspect, with the highest prescribing rates taking place in regions of most significant social deprivation. Antidepressant prescriptions are rising, with a particular increase among women and older adults. 25% of UK adults have been prescribed antidepressants, tranquillisers, opioid painkillers, or sleeping pills and have been taking them for at least twelve months.

While there’s a range of treatments designed to help an individual overcome addiction to illegal and recreational drugs, those who find themselves addicted to prescription medications often find themselves with nowhere to turn.

People misunderstand prescription drugs because they're told to take them by a trusted medical professional.

How Does Addiction Occur?

Addiction often occurs after injury or surgery, where the patient has been prescribed a medication to treat or manage pain. Or it can develop in an aim to numb emotional pain. Opioid medications are particularly effective for the relief of pain, but the body develops tolerance very quickly; requiring more of the drug to sustain comfort.

Addiction occurs as prolonged exposure to opioids increases nerve sensitivity; this leads previously non-painful stimuli to become painful over time, so you take more prescription medication to overcome the new pain - and the circle of addiction emerges.

Addiction to prescription medication can happen to anyone.

The Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction

Addiction manifests in a variety of ways. Everyone is different. However, you may display a range of the following symptoms:

  • Preoccupation with your medication supply and when you can take the next dose.
  • Taking more medication than your doctor advises
  • Considering changing doctors because your doctor is refusing to prescribe more medication

  • Sourcing additional medication from dubious sources
  • Continuing to take medication after the condition has healed - i.e., still taking drugs even though a bone healed over six months ago.

You might have stopped looking after your personal hygiene, or you're experiencing mood swings. You might find yourself more frequently angry, and your sleeping and eating patterns may have changed. These are all signs that dependency has taken hold. And, although you might feel somewhat alone, addiction to prescription medication is treatable.

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This is where we can help

Addiction emerges in a variety of ways, and everyone's experience is different. While there's no one-size-fits-all treatment, there are successful approaches that can help you overcome your addiction.

We employ a range of therapeutic strategies suited to your particular needs. By recognising the impact your addiction is having on your life, we can develop a range of practical treatment approaches that treat the root cause of your addiction.

For example, medication numbs the root cause of your depression or anxiety; it doesn't treat it. So, until you address the stresses and traumas that have caused your pre-medication condition, those problems will remain.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Carl Gustav Jung

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A Combination of Therapies Designed For You

We use a combination of psychotherapeutic, counselling, and coaching strategies to help you gain valuable insight into the situations that have prompted your addiction. By recognising and acknowledging the causes of your pre-medicated condition, you can finally address the emotional states that have been numbed by your medication. And - by dealing with your problems at their source - you can emerge from the distressing hold of your addiction.

Get in touch

If you feel that prescription medication is getting the better of you, get in touch. We’ll help you get your life back on track through our non-judgemental and integrative approach to treatment.

For help with overcoming an addcition to prescription drugs you can reach us by phone on 0333 339 2430 at any time, or contact us by email to discuss any questions about addiction recovery therapy.

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