Home > Treating Addictions > Uncommon Drug Addictions and How to Stop

Uncommon Drug Addictions and How to Stop

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 7 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Addictions Prescription Illegal Drugs

Drug addictions as a whole are a common class of addictions. They garner an enormous amount of media attention, research funding and treatment centres and therapy types to treat those who suffer from the effects. The number of different drugs that have potential for abuse, however, is enormous.

While illegal drug use and controlled prescription medications form a large percentage of drug addictions, other drug addictions are still a problem. In particular, some uncommon but still growing drug addictions to over-the-counter drugs are a concern.

Addiction to Antidepressants

The term addiction is a complicated one in the context of antidepressants. While antidepressants are known in some instances to cause a withdrawal known as discontinuation syndrome, experts do not consider this the same as an addiction. Users do not feel a compulsion to use the drugs in the way a person is driven to use other substances, for instance.

There is still some evidence, however, to suggest that infrequently, antidepressants such as SSRIs can lead to dependence and addiction. The suggestion that they are often overprescribed for even minor psychiatric complaints is thought to put more people at risk of abusing the drugs. While it continues to be debated, those who believe they are addicted to SSRIs should speak to their doctor about their concern while ensuring they have access to therapy.

Addiction to Cough Syrup

Cough syrup is another uncommon addiction but a potentially deadly one. Containing the ingredient dextromethorphan, it purportedly leaves users feeling high and can induce hallucinations. Users will take cough syrup in much higher doses than those prescribed therapeutically for coughs and sore throats. Since such cough syrups can also contain other active ingredients, the risks for a user are potentially significant ones.

Emergency room visits are more likely to occur when a user takes cough syrup and mixes it with alcohol. Yet another frightening possibility is if the user drives. Cough syrups alone come with the recommendation to avoid operating any vehicle and, of course, alcohol can significantly compound the effect.

Cough syrup use tends to be more prevalent in young people and less so in adults. It is important for parents to be aware of the medications they keep in their medicine cabinet. Locking the cabinet is recommended and if cough syrup addiction is suspected in a teenager, it is best to approach the subject in a non-accusing way.

With long-term use, a person can become dependent and suffer withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Treatment must be under the supervision of a doctor and as with most other addictions, should involve counselling or psychotherapy to address the psychological roots of the addiction.

Overcoming Addictions

While uncommon addictions can make it harder to be diagnosed and receive treatment, it is critical that they are addressed for sufferers. In these instances, there can be more pressure on a sufferer to initiate treatment because these addictions are not yet well-known enough that friends and family can detect the warning signs.

As with any addiction though, they can have devastating physical and emotional effects on users. Long-term complications are a reality and an overdose can also occur. If you think you are suffering from one of these less common addictions, talk to your doctor about getting treatment.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Meme
    Re: Offering Support to an Addiction Sufferer
    Hi im dpeaking on behalf of my partner , who has a bad alcohol addiction..And this has been going on for neaely…
    1 March 2021
  • Loz
    Re: Do you Have a Spending Addiction?
    I think i have a problem with online games, the ones where you are giving a certain amount of energy or whatever and when it…
    17 February 2021
  • Loz
    Re: Do you Have a Spending Addiction?
    I think i have a problem with online games, the ones where you are giving a certain amount of energy or whatever and when it…
    17 February 2021
  • ken
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Caffeine
    I have been taking zopiclone 3.75 for 2months for insomnia. Ive tried 3 times to withdraw by talking 1/2 pill but on each…
    9 February 2021
  • Saba
    Re: Memory Training to Treat Addiction
    Hi I was just seeking some help to work through some addictions that I have and wanted to reach out to find out what was…
    24 December 2020
  • Varn
    Re: Using Self-Help Techniques to Addiction Free
    So I am in my eyes a heavy cannabis user, over the last year I have gone from smoking 2 joints a day, to…
    1 November 2020
  • FPK
    Re: Addiction to Shopping
    Hi. I also have a spending online addiction and need help quick!! I have had various addictions through my life. Mostly alcohol and…
    23 October 2020
  • Adam
    Re: Support Groups
    Hi, I have a severe problem with compulsive lying to the point it has now left my relationship on the bring of ending. I am supposed to be…
    13 October 2020
  • Jils
    Re: Addiction to Shopping
    I buy things to make myself feel better, ie low esteem, anxiety and depression,I shopfor clothes that after a week I don't want, I've had…
    22 July 2020
  • Dr Bob
    Re: Medical Help to Beat an Addiction
    FAO: John re Codeine addiction. As someone who has suffered from codeine addiction, I hope this helps; or, at least, will…
    18 July 2020