Many people feel shocked to find that drugstores, and even grocery markets, sell addictive medications. Most of us think of over the counter drugs as being safe. But the truth is that many people find themselves struggling with addiction from these widely-available medications each year.
Types of Addictive Over the Counter Drugs
Over the counter drugs (OTCs) sell through drugstores or other retailers without the need for a doctor’s prescription. Used as directed, these drugs provide safe relief for a range of medical problems. Prescribed drugs usually offer greater danger, right? Actually, both types of medications present the potential for abuse and addiction.
Not considering marijuana, which is now legally available for medical use in some states, legal medicines make up the most abused drugs in our country. Many over the counter drugs actually provide psychoactive properties, also known as a high. One such drug is dextromethorphan (DXM).
DXM is a primary ingredient in cough and cold medicines. However, the drug causes hallucinations, impaired judgment, sensory deprivation, and other serious side effects. In recent pop culture news, various celebrities suffered arrest, seizures, and even hospitalizations after abusing DXM.
Other commonly abused OTC medications include:
- Pain relievers
- Nasal decongestants
- Motion sickness medications
- Caffeine pills
- Diet pills
Over the counter medications cause a wide variety of short and long-term side effects. These effects include lethargy, slurred speech, high blood pressure, dizziness, and other problems. Sadly, the worst effects include seizures, liver damage, brain damage, comas, and even death.
Addiction to Over the Counter Drugs
Many OTC drugs are habit-forming, meaning addictive in nature. If you take larger doses than recommended, or use the medicine when you don’t have symptoms of the illness it treats, you risk OTC drug addiction.
Abusing OTC drugs also leads to tolerance, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the drug. The withdrawal symptoms trap you in a cycle of needing the OTC medication just to function normally. The only way out of the cycle is through quality drug addiction treatment programs. You may also need dual diagnosis treatment for the root causes of your self-medication, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or schizophrenia.
Programs for OTC Addiction Treatment
Even though one type of medication is in an aisle while the other is behind a counter, both addictions require the same levels of care. You need a quality program for your substance use disorder treatment, including:
- Detox programs
- Residential treatment, PHP and IOP programs
- Individual therapy, group therapy, and family counseling
- Trauma therapy
- Experiential therapies
- Dual diagnosis programs
Your addiction to over the counter drugs is no less severe than addiction to any other drug. Contact Woodlands Recovery Centers now at 855-752-3377 for the help you need. You can put your abuse of over the counter drugs behind you. You just need to make this call and get the help you deserve.