Treatment for Meloxicam Addiction

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed to relieve swelling, stiffness, and pain in those affected by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.1 Meloxicam has a much lower potential for misuse and addiction than narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, but there is still a risk for prescription NSAID misuse and meloxicam addiction.2,3 Knowing the signs and symptoms of a meloxicam addiction can help you know when to seek treatment for yourself or someone you know and help mitigate the health problems caused by use.4

How Do I Know if I Need Meloxicam Addiction Treatment?

Prescription medication use can cause side effects and other health concerns, especially when taken in higher doses than recommended.4 Although meloxicam abuse potential tends to be lower when compared to other pain medications, such as opioids or gabapentin, some people may still misuse this medication.2 Misuse of medications like meloxicam can occur for several reasons, some of which may have a connection with addiction or substance misuse.4,5

If you struggle with chronic pain that lasts longer than six months, you may experience overwhelming physical and emotional stress.6 The stress of ongoing physical pain can challenge your ability to cope with day-to-day life. If you have limited stress management skills and heightened risk factors for addiction, you may misuse prescribed medications as you seek a source of relief from different types of pain.5

Some people misuse medications to become intoxicated, or get high.3 Attempting to get high on meloxicam can cause you to develop an addiction or substance use disorder (SUD).

Signs of Meloxicam Use

Signs that someone you know may be misusing meloxicam include:1

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Blisters
  • Itchiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Eyes becoming yellow
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Blood or discoloration in urine
  • Back pain
  • Swelling of different body parts
  • Unexplained weight gain

Overdose or toxicity can also occur as a result of meloxicam use or misuse.1,7 Overdose occurs when you consume more of this medication than your body can safely process.

The symptoms of overdose on meloxicam include:1

  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling excessively drowsy
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody, dark, or tar-like stool
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Symptoms of Meloxicam Addiction

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), potential symptoms of meloxicam addiction may include:3

  • Using meloxicam longer, or in higher doses, than you originally intended
  • Wanting to quit or cut back on meloxicam and struggling to do so
  • Spending a lot of time seeking, using, or recovering from the effects of meloxicam misuse
  • Experiencing cravings, urges, or a strong desire to use meloxicam
  • Struggling to fulfill responsibilities at school, work, or home due to meloxicam use
  • Experiencing challenges with friendships, family, or other relationships because of meloxicam use
  • Giving up important life activities as a result of meloxicam use
  • Using meloxicam even though it causes physical or mental health concerns
  • Using meloxicam in situations where doing so may cause physical harm

If you are experiencing an addiction to meloxicam, you don’t need to struggle alone. Help is available. Call our confidential helpline at 844-431-5818(Who Answers?) to speak to a rehab support specialist.

Types of Treatment for Meloxicam Addiction

Meloxicam addiction treatment can occur on several levels, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and standard outpatient care. Professionals can work with you to identify the most appropriate level of care for your needs. If you are experiencing medical complications after quitting meloxicam, you may want to enter a medical detox facility first.


Detox is a set of services that can manage unwanted withdrawal symptoms and help a person achieve a medically stable, substance-free state. A medical team provides you with oversight and care while meloxicam exits your body. These services can take place in several different settings, such as inpatient hospitals and outpatient treatment centers.

Unlike other substances like prescription opioids, heroin, alcohol, and cocaine, meloxicam does not cause physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms. However, because many people use meloxicam to manage pain and inflammation, suddenly stopping this prescription medication may cause these symptoms to return. If they are distressing enough, you may benefit from the medical supervision provided at a detox program.

Factors that may complicate the meloxicam detox process include:5

  • Misusing multiple substances
  • Mental health concerns
  • Thoughts of harming yourself
  • Aggressive behavior toward yourself or others
  • Severe or life-threatening medical concerns
  • Violence in the home or in a domestic partnership

The detox stage of treatment serves as an important stepping-off point for the rest of your recovery. As you reach the end of your detox program, your provider can refer you to a meloxicam addiction treatment program, where you can learn the skills necessary to quit drug use.

Inpatient Rehab

The highest level of treatment for meloxicam addiction is inpatient rehab, where you will receive 24/7 care in a highly structured and intensive environment, free of triggers and stressors that may influence meloxicam use. These programs typically last anywhere from 30-90 days, although your stay may be longer if needed. Some benefits of inpatient rehab include:

  • Serene, peaceful setting to recover
  • Around-the-clock care
  • Wide variety of treatment offerings
  • Opportunity to form deep connections with recovering individuals
  • Escape from your everyday using environment and friends
  • Access to medical care and emergency treatment

The next level of care, residential treatment, involves living at a facility for the duration of the program. But unlike inpatient, it has more of a home-like feeling than that of a hospital and you’ll receive some level of monitoring, but not on a 24/7 basis.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is a more flexible option than inpatient since you can continue living at home while attending meloxicam addiction treatment services. There are varying levels of outpatient care, including:

  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): The most intensive outpatient option, PHPs involve treatment 5-7 days per week, for several hours each day.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs): A step down from PHPs, IOPs involve attending therapy sessions 3-5 days per week, for a few hours each day.
  • Standard outpatient care: The least intensive outpatient type, standard outpatient care involves 1-2 days per week of therapy, for 1-2 hours each session.

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Therapies for Meloxicam Addiction Treatment

Most treatment programs utilize individualized treatment plans, which means they tailor treatment to meet your unique needs. Your meloxicam addiction treatment plan may include a combination of therapies, including:8

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): The therapist will help you understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to reduce drug-using behaviors and promote the use of healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy can help improve family functioning, communication, and conflict resolution.
  • Group counseling: Group counseling offers you an opportunity to build sober social skills, learn from others in recovery, and practice drug-refusal skills via role-play.
  • Contingency management (CM): This treatment approach uses positive reinforcement to reward abstinence from meloxicam and other substances.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and the therapies offered at your particular rehab may differ, especially if you have a co-occurring mental health condition. For example, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is commonly used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may be integrated into your treatment plan if you have this disorder.

Holistic Interventions

Each rehab program has its own treatment approach and philosophy, which is why it’s important to consider what type of offerings and services you may want when selecting a rehab. Some programs combine traditional evidence-based modalities, such as psychotherapy and behavioral therapies, with holistic treatment methods, such as yoga and meditation.9,10 Holistic interventions are aimed at healing the whole person—from physical and mental health to spiritual and emotional.

Also called complementary and alternative approaches, holistic interventions can support the recovery process by adding to, not replacing, evidence-based therapies.10 Talk with your treatment providers about which complementary interventions would best support your efforts at wellness.

Some holistic interventions you may encounter in treatment include:10

  • Yoga
  • Dance therapy
  • Special diets
  • Tai Chi
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Equine therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation and mindfulness

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Who Answers?
47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

Post-Treatment Support

A wide set of resources and groups exist to strengthen the progress you made in meloxicam addiction treatment. For example, 12-Step and other mutual-help groups connect peers in recovery. Support groups promote members’ willingness to learn and grow with one another as they recover from addiction.

Examples of mutual-support groups include:

  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Celebrate Recovery
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety
  • Women for Sobriety
  • Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART)

Sober living programs can also offer a source of community and structured living as you re-integrate into daily life.11 Furthermore, outpatient care can continue well after you complete addiction treatment. The community of support, treatment professionals, and recovery-oriented relationships you form in treatment can help you maintain long-term progress in addiction recovery. To get started on your journey, call 844-431-5818(Who Answers?) today and discuss your treatment options.


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, March 15). Meloxicam.
  2. Godersky, M. E., Vercammen, L. K., Ventura, A. S., Walley, A. Y., & Saitz, R. (2017). Identification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use disorder: A case report. Addictive Behaviors, 70, 61–64.
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Substance-related and addictive disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, May 13.) Misuse of prescription drugs research report.
  5. Miller, W. R., Forcehimes, A. A., & Zweben, A. (2019). Treating addiction: A guide for professionals. The Guilford Press.
  6. American Psychological Association. (2011, January 1). Coping with chronic pain.
  7. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (April 2021). Mobic [medication guide]. Ridgefield, CT: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH.
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts.
  9. Adedoyin, C., Burns, N., Jackson, H. M., & Franklin, S. (2014). Revisiting holistic interventions in substance abuse treatment. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24(5), 538–546.
  10. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021). Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What’s in a name?
  11. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment approaches for drug addiction.

the Take-Away

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed to relieve swelling, stiffness, and pain in those affected by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.1 Meloxicam has a much lower potential for misuse and addiction than narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, but there is still a risk for prescription NSAID misuse and meloxicam addiction.2,3 Knowing …