Don’t Replace One Addiction With Another

Feb 6, 2018 by

Think back to when you learned to drive. In between lessons on parallel parking and the proper following distance, your instructor may have told you not to let your guard down when you were close to home. There is some evidence that more accidents occur closer to home, and it makes sense because we tend to let our guard down a bit when we’re driving down the same residential street we’ve been on hundreds or even thousands of times. It’s easy to think, “We’re almost there” and relax, and then suddenly end up in a collision with a school bus. That happens a lot in life as well. We get through something difficult and thing everything is fine now. The problem is solved, so it’s OK to take a breather. That’s an especially dangerous mindset when we’re dealing with something serious like drug or alcohol addiction.

Everyday addictions

Not all addictions look dangerous. Some of the most dangerous ones are dangerous simply because they look perfectly fine and normal. Ask anyone who is dealing with prescription painkiller addiction how they got started. Painkillers like Vicodin are in the same drug class as heroin, but too many doctors who prescribe painkillers don’t treat them like that. They see a patient in pain after something major like surgery and decide to prescribe the drugs without really thinking. There are millions of prescription painkiller drugs a year, and there are thousands of people who die from accidental opioid overdoses. In fact, the opioid epidemic has gotten the attention of local and state governments, but there’s still way more that needs to be done to truly get to the heart of the problem. It took about two decades of overprescribing for us to get to this point, and it’s going to take time to get out of this mess as well.

If you have a history of addiction and are dealing with a procedure that is going to put you in a lot of pain, be very careful when it comes to substances like fentanyl, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. If your doctor wants to prescribe you one of those medications, feel free to ask a lot of questions. Express that you’re a little worried about becoming too dependent on the drug in question. A good doctor will listen and address your concerns, ideally by offering some sort of alternative medication. You should be able to treat your pain without being afraid of getting addicted to the happy feeling the painkiller provides.

Not all addictions are created equal

Humans have a tendency to find things they like and get fixated. That’s not always a terrible thing. Plenty of people are addicted to the caffeine in their morning coffee, and they manage to function just fine. Those people might benefit from cutting back on the amount of caffeine they consume each day, but such an addiction has a very low chance of ruining their life. You may also hear people joke about being “addicted to exercise” and the endorphins that are produced in the course of a good workout. People who spend hours in the gym seven days a week may have an issue, but there are experts who can help you stay on the right track. If you’re in Vancouver, look into personal training in Alexandria and find a fitness regimen that will allow you to have both a healthy body and a healthy mental state.

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