Am I taking too many Prescription Medications?

There are many people in the UK who are, in my opinion, taking too many prescription medications. This could be for a number of reasons though all too frequently the result of people taking too many medications is the same. They feel weary and lethargic, they feel low and depressed. They might try and take a higher dosage than the doctor prescribed, life begins to get too much for them.

Feeling of Helplessness

They can feel a sense of helplessness, as if there is no way out. Especially as the person many people would turn to – their GP – is the person who has prescribed the medication in the first place. They become obsessed with their medication, thinking about it, when they can take it, the dosage, obtaining their supplies….

There are certain medications that tend to lead to these feelings though this is not an exclusive list: pain killers (codeine, tramadol for example), medications from the benzo family (diazepam – Valium,  lorazepam), pregabalin, anti-depressants, beta blockers such as propranolol, zopiclone or other sleeping pills…

Don’t tell the GP the truth

Often it is not the GP’s fault that this situation has arisen. GPs prescribe following a short consultation with their patient and sometimes we do not reveal the full and true circumstances. So, someone who is feeling low and drinking too much may not reveal the true extent of their drinking and therefore may be diagnosed with mild depression. In reality it is the alcohol (a depressant in itself) which is at least partly responsible for the situation. However, we leave the doctor’s surgery with a prescription for anti-depressants. These don’t work while we are drinking. So we get a higher dose prescribed, or a different brand – which still does not work. But we carry on taking them till they make us feel detached emotionally.

Up the dose to feel good

We may think we suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and so be put on benzos or beta blockers. These may seem to work at first and make us feel good. So there can be a temptation to up the dose or increase it if the ‘feel good’ factor stops working so well. If we try to reduce the dosage or stop, we find we cannot do it without feeling ill. Without realising it we have become hooked. We may turn to the internet to get more medication so we can take higher doses than the Dr prescribed.

Need Professional Help

As with any addiction, if you find yourself in this situation you will probably need professional help. See your GP and get completely honest about your feelings, your personal circumstances and the medication you are taking. Ask for a reduction or detox programme to come off the medication with a view to starting again either with different medication or with none. You may benefit from some talking therapy / counselling.

Detox from Prescription Medication

Many people with problems with prescription medications – either just one medication or a whole cocktail of them. Seek treatment at an addiction’s treatment center or rehab. There they can be ‘detoxed’ safely and comfortably off the medication at issue and look at the reasons why they have got into this situation. The original benefits of the medication and what it did for them, what they were essentially unable to cope with or running away from in life. Once off the medication. They can learn the coping mechanisms needed to live a life free of the medication and to be fulfilled and happy.

Call the Haynes Clinic on 01462 851414 for help with your or a loved ones addiction.

By Dr Magda

Am I taking too many Prescription Medications?