Will I Become Addicted to My Narcotic Prescription?

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According to the National Library of Medicine, “When used carefully and under a health care provider’s direct care, [prescription narcotics] can be effective at reducing pain.” This is the main reason they are prescribed to many individuals around the world. However, it can be daunting to begin a narcotic treatment regimen, as we know these drugs can be habit-forming and even addictive under certain circumstances.

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Taking Your Prescription the Right Way

Narcotic Prescription

Always take your prescription as directed and let your doctor know if you’re experiencing any odd side effects.

The main thing to remember is there is no reason you should become addicted to your narcotic prescription if you take the drugs as directed. Here are some general rules to follow to ensure that you are taking your prescription safely and exactly as you are meant to:

  • Always listen to your doctor. They “may suggest that you take your medicine only when you feel pain” or “on a regular schedule.” It is important to always stick to the amount prescribed by your physician and not to deviate from that even if you want to.
  • Never take the medication more often, in a higher dose, or through a different method than you were prescribed to do so. This sort of behavior, though it may not seem harmful at first, is actually considered abuse and engaging in it little by little can cause you to eventually become addicted to your prescription.
  • If you experience any strange side effects or symptoms that do not go away while taking the drug, make sure to talk to your doctor immediately.
  • In general, you should not use a narcotic for more than 3 or 4 months unless you have been specifically told to by your physician and you are currently still under their care.

If you follow these rules, you will be very unlikely to become addicted to your prescription. Remember, many individuals take prescription opioids safely and without incident, and as long as you are careful and diligent with your doses, you can too.

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Dependence vs. Addiction

Many people become concerned that they are addicted to their prescription after they have been taking it for a while and begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Dependence, though, is not the same as addiction. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Physical dependence can happen with the chronic use of many drugs––including many prescription drugs, even if taken as instructed,” and experiencing withdrawal symptoms and other signs of physical dependence does not necessarily mean you are addicted.

If you take your narcotic prescription as directed and become dependent on the drug, you can slowly be weaned off it safely by your doctor and not require addiction treatment. It is important to keep this in mind, especially if you have never been on a medication like this before.

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Will I Become Addicted to My Narcotic Prescription?

As long as you take the medication as directed and keep open communication with your doctor, you should not become addicted to your narcotic medication. If you have more questions about prescription opioids and their effects, call (800) 407-7195 today.

the Take-Away

Taking your narcotic prescription as directed by your doctor, and communicating any odd side effects or concerns will help you avoid abuse and addiction.