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Support Group Summary from our Therapist (What is a support group?)

Updated on Oct 24 2010

Addiction to prescription medication is a growing phenomenon and in many instances has resulted in full blown drug abuse. Individuals believe that if a doctor prescribed a pill that it is okay, but excessive use and abuse of any medication can lead to a serious addiction. Many post-op patients in recovery but still suffering from pain and those suffering from chronic pain can and do very quickly become addicted to the medication. Patients who have not got any joy from their current prescriptions for depression for instance may consider supplementing their medication with sleeping tablets in order to help them sleep and so to become addicted. Surprisingly this phenomenon is not only common among young adults and housewives but also found to be extremely common in geriatric patients as well.

There has been some research done on the addictive personality and anyone who has worked with substance abusers can vouch for the fact that substance abusers seem to act in the same fashion, and portray significantly similar personality traits and characteristics. However, the interesting aspect of this research is that it posits that there could be a genetic link. This research has found that some people are more likely to become addicted to substances than others. It is important to note that by substances, I mean anything that has a chemical basis and that includes food. While food aside, it is best to err on the side of caution. This is why across the world advice is given to young adults not to even try the substance if they know it to have addictive properties. The thinking is that one never knows whether one carries that gene and could easily become addicted even after the first try. So do not try it, experimentation is not all it is cracked up to be - it could lead to an addiction, and a life long struggle to find yourself again.

In regard to food, allergies to certain foods are a key in helping an individual with addictive tendencies. Watch for your cravings, test for food allergies and avoid those foods that may be causing an adverse effect in your body. There is a large body of knowledge that points to food allergies having an effect on mood, and even on more serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Food is not only consumed for comfort but also sometimes from physiological urges, sometimes it is hunger but at other times it may be a craving for something. However, once overindulged one may feel the need to remove the discomfort and this too can result in cycles of binging and purging, much like bulimia. So seek appropriate help from a professional if any of the above ring any bells and continue to work at being the best you that you can be.
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