Over the Counter Medication Addictions

When people learn that they’ve become addicted to prescription medications, once they recover from their surprise, they can understand how this occurred.

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However, the same isn’t always true when you’re talking about over the counter medications. Over the counter medication addiction happens more frequently than you might realize, and it occurs mainly because people believe it’s not possible. They wrongly assume that if a medication is available for purchase without a prescription, then it must be safe to take; even if that means taking it in doses that are much higher than what’s indicated on the package.

There are several different types of over the counter medications that are frequently abused, and the causes of this type of addiction. These medications include:

  • DXM/Cough medicine
  • Diet pills
  • Sleep aids
  • Dramamine

While it may be true that teenagers and older children are probably more apt to try to obtain these drugs than adults, this type of addiction can happen to anyone, without warning. Regardless of what your age is, or what over the counter medication you’ve been using, if you’ve become addicted to one of the above drugs, you’re in need of professional help to stop using it. Over the counter addiction treatment centers are there to assist you with stopping it safely so that you can recover with fewer withdrawal symptoms and complications.

The Purpose of Over the Counter Medications

There are a variety of over the counter medications that have been approved for several different purposes. These medications are very useful in treating everything from the common cold and headaches to helping you fall asleep and assisting with weight loss. For the most part, when you take over the counter medications, you’re taking them for their intended purposes, and you know that you’re only going to be taking them for a short period of time. However, that’s not always the way it goes for some people.

It’s very easy for the regular use of over the counter medications to move forward into over the counter medication abuse, and when that occurs, it’s often the beginning a very serious problem.

Over the Counter Medication Addiction Information

Over the Counter Medication Abuse: The Fine Line

It’s quite possible that we have such a big problem with over the counter medication abuse in the United States because these drugs are obtained so easily. They’re all relatively inexpensive, and most states don’t have any age restrictions on who can purchase them.

Over the counter medication abuse occurs when you start taking one of these drugs in a higher than normal dosage, or when you take it for a purpose that it’s not intended for on the packaging. Sometimes, people will abuse over the counter medications by combining them with illegal drugs or with prescription drugs as a way to experience a more intense high.

There is definitely a fine line that exists between over the counter medication abuse and addiction. The problem is that these addiction symptoms are often not realized until it’s too late.

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Are You Noticing Over the Counter Medication Addiction Symptoms?

In most cases, the over the counter medication addiction symptoms that you’re going to experience depend entirely upon the type of medications you’re taking. While the symptoms might vary, they often include some of the following:

  • Becoming emotionally withdrawn
  • Experiencing cognitive withdrawal
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Problems with memory recall

Once these over the counter medication symptoms start to surface, you may become surprised because you assumed the medications you were taking were non-addictive. However, if you notice these, or any other symptoms, it’s important to consider whether or not over the counter addiction treatment might be right for you.

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Recognizing Over the Counter Medication Addiction Behaviors

Sometimes it’s easier to recognize an over the counter medication addiction by looking for certain behaviors rather than symptoms. Because everyone responds to these drugs differently, if you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be addicted to them, you can look for some of the following:

  • An increased tolerance for the drug of choice
  • Over the counter medication withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the drug
  • An increase in irritability, anger, or agitation
  • A sudden onset of anxiety or panic attacks
  • Symptoms of depression

This type of addiction should be treated very quickly, and it’s not uncommon for people to form such a strong tolerance to these drugs that they move on to other, illegal drugs or prescription medications to get the results they’re looking for. If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms or behaviors of over the counter medication addiction, please get help right away.

What Should You do if You’re Addicted to Over the Counter Medications?

Now that you really do suspect that you’ve become addicted to over the counter medications, you need to know what to do to get help. Stopping your medications abruptly can lead to some serious over the counter medication withdrawal symptoms, and these can be quite unpleasant, depending on what drug you’ve been taking. In order to minimize them, drug detox is often recommended. This will help to purge your body of the drugs you’ve been using so that you get through the worst of the withdrawal phase quickly.

It’s also recommended for anyone who has been abusing over the counter medications to go through drug rehab. Over the counter medication addiction treatment will address the issues behind your addiction so that you’re able to recover properly.

The Top Over the Counter Medication Rehab Centers

If you’re going to get treatment for this type of addiction, it makes sense that you would opt for the best over the counter medication rehab programs in the Pacific Northwest. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we are considered to be one of those centers, and we’ve helped many people overcome their addictions to these medications.

If you’d like to talk about your addiction in more detail, and learn how we can help you, please contact us.

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