There is a small difference between dependence on prescription medication and addiction. When using prescription medication, it is very common for the user to build up a tolerance. To achieve the same result the same medication will either be needed in a higher dose or taken more regularly. Most likely, people just take more.
Drug dependence occurs when someone relies on a medication to function normally. Most prescription medications have the potential for the user to go into withdrawal if they are to stop taking it, meaning they cannot quit on their own and will need to taper off with a doctor’s supervision. Taking increased doses causes a physical need for the medication.
Some people can start taking a medication for an injury, and when they are healed can stop taking it, whereas other people like the affect and continue to take that medication. Physical dependence can often lead to drug addiction. Pain medications are frequently abused.
This occurs when someone needs to take more and more of the medication to have relief from their pain. It is very common in the recovery world to hear that someone became addicted to pain medication and started taking it not as prescribed, or often may lead to other illicit drug use when the doctor will no longer prescribe what they now want. Sometimes heroin is easier to obtain than OxyContin.
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