Question :

Does My Daughter Have a Prescription Addiction

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My 35 year old daughter has been treated by doctors and given prescriptions. She seems very dependent on them. How do I know the difference between needing them for a "nervous condition" and abuse? She has told me that doctors and counselors have told her that she can't just "talk" her way out, but that she needs these drugs. She has been at my house for 4 days and says she feels "hot", not feverish, but hot. It is not hot in the house and the outside temp has been in the low to mid 60s. Is she addicted and how do I get her treatment? She has no job and I cannot afford to pay for her medical care.


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
It appears your daughter is taking medication as prescribed by her medical doctor for her medical condition.  Chronic medical conditions often require lifelong medications and this may or may not be the case with your daughter. This would not be classified at an addiction. it would be classified as medical treatment.  An addiction can be loosely defined as persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful.  Furthermore, addicted individuals often require increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effect and spend an increasing amount of time to obtain the substance to the detriment of social, academic and occupational goals.
Unless you suspect she is taking them against medical advise or taking them not as intended by her doctors,  I would not interfere with the taking of prescription medications.
If you have any concerns, the first thing to do is to speak with your daughter. If you feel she is not competent to monitor her care, then you should speak to her doctor.


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