Even with federal standards in place to make it difficult to attain narcotics, even in prescription form, there is a very high rate of patients becoming addicted. This suggests a number of scenarios. Either doctors are being careless about prescribing to patients with high potential for addiction, or patients are not being honest with their doctors about their own histories and present drug use. It could also be part of an ongoing crisis in health care, where fear of lawsuits leads to overprescribing, or that patients are sharing drugs in ways that are not prescribed, or that people are getting them via illegal methods. It could also be the case that the drugs are simply more addictive than anyone suspected in the first place, and the odds are good that these scenarios are all true. Whatever the reason for the addiction, it’s a very difficult position to be in, but it is certainly possible to quit.

Admitting that there is a problem, and being willing to ask for help, are two major steps in the right direction. For most addicts, this is the hardest part, because it means admitting that life has become impossible. But this can be the beginning of a new life, and if this is truly hitting rock bottom, then there is only up. One of the best things someone can do for a narcotic addiction is to begin by taking medicine prescribed by only one doctor. Some of the most obvious problems come when the pain is so great that it seems necessary to start to horde drugs, and this behavior is very typical of an addict. Trusting one doctor to manage pain is extremely important toward getting on the road to recovery.

If the pain, or the condition which warranted the prescription, is no longer persistent, then it’s time to ask some difficult questions. If the level of narcotic intake is severe enough, it may be necessary to check in to detox. Getting off of a severe addiction, especially to these substances which are more addictive than most anything available in the chemical world, can be impossible, and even dangerous, to do on your own. It’s something that does happen every day, in large numbers, so you’re not alone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is something that could happen to anyone, and there are many trained professionals who know exactly how to manage someone who is coming back to their senses. Treatment centers are also excellent options for getting away from the drugs for a few weeks, and learning some essential skills for staying drug free. There are also other support groups, and twelve-step programs can be enormously successful. Giving in and giving up, in order to ask for help, to any of these options, is ironically the very thing that can lead to successful and effective living. It’s a new life, just around the corner.