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If it works...is it still abuse?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by Jane, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    Maybe this is outside the realm of this forum, but I'm trying to find that grey line between addiction that's bad...versus, well, being addicted, but it's helpful.

    What I mean is... if a person is hooked on Xanax, for example. She takes it every single day, three times a day, has no intentions of ever stopping, and is addicted to it entirely.... but it helps her get through life... then it's an addiction, but she's not necessarily abusing it because she's taking it as prescribed, isn't snorting, etc.

    She can't function without it, though, and if she misses a dose, then she gets really messed up and feels like she *needs* her Xanax. There's no doubt that this is addiction, but does it necessarily mean abuse? And is it a "bad" addiction in the sense of "does she need to try to get over it and stop her addiction"?
  2. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    It is abuse, it is addiction if she cannot go without. The danger of this is that in time she may no longer feel the effects and begin to take larger doses. She really does need professional help, sooner than later. It will be a lot easier to break this habit if it is caught in the beginning stages. This is also going to have a major affect on her physical health.
  3. oleskool

    oleskool Member

    I agree with the above post that she needs help and sooner than later, as this is a challenge to her health. The longer she continues on these drugs the more damage to her health.
  4. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Well, it's abuse in the sense that she would be relying on it to get by and it also depends on the effect that it has on her health in the long run. If she needs it to get by, even at a reasonable dosage, yet it has long-term health consequences then that is definitely an addiction and would be classed as substance misuse therefore she would be abusing it.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    If you are taking the Xanax exactly as the doctor has instructed then it is being used correctly, not abused. However, this does not mean that this doesn't cause addiction problems.

    Abuse and addiction are two different things. If your friend was buying the pills from an illegal source or taking more than the prescribed dose then she would be abusing them.
  6. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think the post above by missbishi perfectly sums up what I wanted to say on the topic. Abuse is one thing, when you're taking it outside the realm of what it has been prescribed for, or taking more than the recommended amount. A lot of substances cause addictive consequences so I think you can be using it as prescribed and still feel the addictive sense of things.
  7. Merricat

    Merricat Member

    I think a lot of people here are right that if you’re taking it the way that it’s been prescribed by your doctor then it isn’t considered abuse. Like I have to take adderall everyday for my ADHD. I’ve taken meds for it since I was a kid and I have to take it if I want to get my work done, not get into a car accident and perform other parts of being a functioning adult. I was prescribed xanax by my doctor for my anxiety, to be used along with the coping mechanisms I was learning in therapy. But then I started just taking it to stop feeling, which led to me taking more of it, and then I started taking it with alcohol which was definitely against what my doctor recommended. That’s when I really knew I had crossed the line over into abuse.
  8. Hiraeth

    Hiraeth Active Contributor

    Anything that you feel you "need" and cannot do without, or function without, is an addiction. Be it a drug, medicine, food, person, activity, whatever. When that thing that you're depending on to get through your life becomes absent, you will automatically falter and fall. The minute you realize you're becoming depended on something or someone to get through your own life, you need to step back and reevaluate yourself and find a way to change that.
  9. Merricat

    Merricat Member

    I think I may understand where you're coming from, but including medicine on this list may be taking it just a tad too far. Is a diabetic addicted to insulin? They have to take it to survive, so there's no way to step back and reevaluate a way for them to have a functioning pancreas.
  10. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    You know, I do think we can take the concept of "addiction" too far at times. I often hear talk about being "addicted" to anti-depressants when it's really just a simple case of needing them in order to feel well. I do wonder if people are discouraged from seeking treatment for a wide range of disorders for fears they will become "addicted" to pills.
    Merricat likes this.
  11. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    For me there is no difference between abusing a prescription drug or some illegal drug. If you think you can't get through the day without a certain substance, then that spells addiction to me. In my view there is no grey line, it's clearly black and white. But apart from stating the obvious, my real concern would be about the effects and also side effects from using a certain drug on a daily basis.
  12. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It is a prescription medicine, so that is the doctors job to figure that one out. If he or she is using it without a prescription then that is breaking the law regardless if it helps take the edge off of life.
  13. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    When a person needs something to keep them going like Xanax or something else than, it will be abuse as it will be something a person can be ruined by as well. A person should be able to function without something, that can cause them to get addicted and also a person should only use Xanax if given by a doctor and not get addicted to it as it has a huge affect on the mind. I hope, people understand the affects of the drug and also it can cause someone who get's it into their mind that it will help them out in life.
  14. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    When a person is dependent on something and cannot "survive" without it and when it becomes a "need" then it's an addiction, of course, humans have needs but it's different than inhabited needs and ones that we take upon ourselves due to consequences. Support her and be there for her through it and love her, and tell her that something needs to be done because too much of a something is always bad.
  15. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    I think it is not abuse if it is consumed at the prescribed level as an abuse imply to go beyond what is normal or prescribed in this case. However, I believe that this can be considered as an addiction since there are bad effects if the usage is stopped. Addiction can be caused by mental factors or physical factors so I don't necessarily put it under the same category as your typical drug addicts. In the end I can still call it an addiction.
  16. Rachel1065

    Rachel1065 Member

    This is such a great question , and one that no one has truly answered in a helpful way.
    Medicine is prescribed to help people some people are medically dependent upon meds to function or stay alive!
    If you have been prescribed a drug and are taking it as prescribed you are NOT abusing that drug! this kind of thinking is more harmful to people than the drugs themselves. I know multiple people who think taking anti depressants is a sign of weakness and that they should be able to suck it up and get through life like anyone else.
    Never mind that the brain is actually chemically misfiring and 1 Prozac a day can cure you...then are you addicted to Prozac? Cmon people
    True concern and Dominica like this.
  17. Rachel1065

    Rachel1065 Member

    This is the most reasonable reply so far
    True concern and Dominica like this.
  18. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    This is an amazing conversation with many pro's and Con's that could be laid out depending on your"personal" definition of this or that.I personally won't give my take on this conversation,just absolutely grateful that it's taking place the way it should.Shared experience and personal opinion lead to "Food for thought"I truly appreciate seeing this discussed properly as the message and thing's learned are absolutely vital to helping and healing our heart's and soul's.God Bless you and Take Care
  19. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I was prescribed Klonopin by my former psychiatrist. I only took it as directed and it ended up being a nightmare for me. If you want to read about my experience, here's a link to something I wrote for the Huffington Post website:

    Held Hostage by a RX Drug: My Klonopin Nightmare

    I now advise people to be aware of what a medication's long-term ramifications could be before you start taking it. It could save you a lot of grief down the road.

    Nicoleforrest28 likes this.
  20. You should try switching to a different benzo like valium or klonopin. They're a longer acting benzo and take maybe once or twice a day. It will be easier to stop taking those if you ever decide to..Xanax are highly addictive. They were my hardest battle for sure! I abused them for 10 years then used them 2 to 3 times a day for about 6 years and now I'm 2 years sober and my brain has just in the last few months started to feel normal like I can process my own thoughts and feelings. It's a long road for sure!don't ever think you're in control when you have substances altering your brain chemistry. And even taking them as prescribed can lead to life threatening complications. Be aware!