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People never intend to become addicted to prescription medicines. Although some use pain killers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants or ADHD medications for recreational purposes, most take medications initially for legitimate concerns such as arthritis, chronic insomnia, severe anxiety or a minor injury. Dependence and addiction can develop gradually, often without awareness that a problem exists until it’s too late.
According to DrugWatch, prescription medication abuse is not a problem limited to the United States. Britain is showing signs of drug abuse of epidemic proportions, while deaths due to overdose are growing at an alarming rate in Australia and much of the world. Prescription drug misuse is on the rise in South and Central America, Africa and Asia.
Doctor Shopping is Easier for Well Off People
“Doctor shopping,” which involves visiting numerous physicians, is a common way for prescription medication abusers to gather more drugs. While there are controls in place that attempt to limit out-of-control doctor shopping, even the strictest laws are of limited benefit when tracking prescriptions becomes so cumbersome and time-consuming.
For wealthy individuals who are able to consult multiple medical professionals around the world, there is absolutely no way to monitor or crosscheck prescriptions.
Additionally, some doctors have a difficult time saying no to wealthy, powerful patients. Well-to-do individuals and their families may use concierge medical care not covered by insurance, or they may keep an exclusive physician on retainer.
Prescription Drug Addiction is a Treatable Condition
Prescription drug abuse is debilitating and painful, regardless of wealth and power. Attempting to stop prescription medications “cold turkey” is dangerous, and symptoms, which may include abdominal cramps, nausea, chills, sweating, and severe muscle and bone pain, can be miserable.
Wealthy individuals, who may have more than a full page of prescriptions gathered via numerous global doctor-shopping excursions, are indeed in a precarious situation. Frequently, professional assistance in the form of drug treatment or rehab is required to help sort out the tangled problem, which includes resolving a morass of side effects associated with various drug combinations, some of which can be life-threatening.
At Paracelsus, our team of dedicated specialists has extensive experience in helping people struggling with prescription medication addiction. Addicted individuals are often rightfully worried about getting off the drugs, and are typically concerned about the return of pain, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and other problems that precipitated drug use in the first place. However, we implement a tailored approach that involves a simplified medication plan and careful tapering of prescription medications.
Tapering off prescription medications is done carefully and duration depends on a number of factors, including patient needs, age, use of other substances and any physical or mental issues that may be present. A specialized psychiatrist with extensive experience in just this area is in charge of this at Paracelsus. He works closely with our holistic medical doctor to also address nutritional deficits such as lack of Vitamins, minerals, hormones and neurotransmitters which often occur during the period of prescription medication use.
Thus, most importantly, we focus on healing the entire body through a comprehensive approach that addresses mind, body and spirit rather than simply managing symptoms. In addition to highly individualized one-on-one addiction treatment, clients may benefit from safe but often overlooked pain management techniques such as acupuncture, reflexology, yoga, mindfulness meditation, massage or exercise.