In American society today, there are many physicians who are quick to write prescriptions, and there are many patients who feel that any drug that is legal and written on a prescription pad cannot possibly be bad. Some people feel it’s impossible to become addicted to legal substances. However, this is certainly not the case. And before you are put on pain pills or ADHD medication or benzodiazepines, I would recommend asking yourself the following questions:
Have I tried non-narcotic therapy to address my issue?
Whether you are addressing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, or ADHD, there are often a lot of natural treatments available. You may consider herbal therapy and natural supplements, alternative medicine, acupuncture, exercise and diet changes, mental exercises, meditation, etc. If you have exhausted all treatment options and none of them have proved to be very effective, you may wish to pursue other medication.
Can I trust my physician?
How long have you known your physician? Is it a family doctor you have been seeing for years? Is it a new physician you just started seeing when you got into town? See if you can talk to some of the physician’s other patients and get an opinion on his or her treatment of others. While most doctors are honorable, sadly, there are some who are all too quick to prescribe unnecessary medication.
Do I have a family or personal history of addiction or substance abuse?
This is very important. If anyone in your family has a history of alcoholism or addiction, be extremely cautious when taking any medications that may be considered addictive. You may want to have someone else control your medications or speak with your doctor about ways to not develop a dependence on your medication,
Have I tried these type of drugs before? Did I have side effects?
If you have tried these types of medications before, it can be easy to forget about how they were the last time you took them. However, it’s important that you really consider the way these medications affected you and whether or not they are right for you.
Narcotic medication is not a great solution for everyone. It’s very easy to develop an addiction with these types of medications. If you find yourself feeling out of control, you may need to seek outside help through a 12-step program (https://www.na.org/) or even rehabilitation.
There is certainly a time and a place for these medications, and they can be very helpful for some people. However, before you make the decision to begin such a serious medication, be sure to really weigh your options and consider every facet.