Lately I have been overwhelmed by the number of prescription drug commercials that are bombarding the airwaves. It seems like there is a pill for everything, and while the ads aren’t necessarily for medications like Vicodin or Demerol, they definitely reflect our culture’s increasingly relaxed attitude about medicating everything. I absolutely recognize the need for medication in certain cases. In recovery, sometimes medication can help when dealing with severe emotional challenges. For instance, if you can’t get out of bed to get to a alcoholics anonymous meeting because of crippling depression, then meetings aren’t going to help. I suppose I am just concerned about our country’s casual attitude towards pills, because it is similar to the attitude I had when I was using. Just woke up? Take a pill. Stubbed your toe? Take a pill. Feeling upset? Take a pill. Going to work/school/bed? Take a pill. Heck, take a handful.
When I went to adolescent drug treatment, I was suddenly faced with having to deal with things clean. My pill addiction made me want to use every time I had an uncomfortable moment. It was hard to do new things without having that veil of intoxication separating me from the world. The new feelings I experienced made me feel like I was crazy, but as I sat through them, they became less foreign. I felt sad, and happy, and angry and upset. I didn’t know what to do with my feelings. This is usually why I used. I had never put in the work to learn how to have acceptance, self-honesty, and hope. Working with the medical staff, I was able to sort out what feelings were actually detrimental to my ability to function, and which ones I was simply uncomfortable having. As I have stayed clean, a lot of those feelings have gotten better. I have learned to be patient with myself, and to not panic when I have a feeling. I can call my sponsor, or do some journaling, talk to a friend, or go for a walk. My feelings don’t govern my decisions today. I am free from my teen prescription medication addiction because today I know that sometimes there aren’t quick and easy answers to everything. Sometimes I have to do some uncomfortable work on myself. While this new process denies me the instant gratification of getting high with pills, the long term results are of a quality that are deeply gratifying. If your teen is struggling with a pill addiction, there isn’t a quick fix, but there is help that can last a lifetime. Click here and contact us today.